Farmers cautioned against veldfires

The department of agriculture has advised land users and farmers to exercise extreme caution to prevent veld fires this winter.

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The dryness of vegetation coupled with strong winds can create perfect conditions for runaway veld fires.

Farmers are urged to take note of risk-reduction measures by ensuring that fire equipment is easily accessible and in good condition.

The National Veld and Forest Fire Act, 1998 (Act No.101 of 1998) provides a statutory obligation on all landowners to develop firebreaks and places an onus on landowners to be prepared and equipped to fight a fire and to take all reasonable steps to stop the spread of fire.

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Chapter 2 of the Act regulates the establishment, registration, duties and functioning of fire protection associations (FPAs).

These associations must deal with all aspects of veld fires, such as the prevention and firefighting, and farmers can play an active role in managing and planning of fire management as a collective, with co-ownership of the risk management process.