Deputy Director: Forest and Veld Fire in the Free State, Malcolm Procter, said the fire had split into three different fronts and the provincial joint operations command has called on the South African National Defence Force to remain on standby for aerial assistance. The fire originated on Wednesday 18 September on the farm, Waterval in the Senekal district and is today burning closer to Rosendal.
CEO of the Free State Umbrella Fire Association, Thinus Steenkamp, said five Working on Fire (WoF) teams had been deployed so far. “We are very concerned about the strong wind that is currently blowing at a wind speed of between 30km and 50km per hour. This makes aerial assistance virtually impossible. The inaccessibility on the rugged mountainous area exacerbates the problem tremendously,” he said.