Peak veld fire season for Free State and North West farmers

The window period to prepare fire breaks expires on 31 July 2014, and farmers have been warned that the risk of strong winds makes it hazardous to continue making firebreaks in August.

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The ideal conditions for veld fires are day temperatures of 20°C and more, humidity lower than 20% and winds exceeding 20km/hr, which is often the case from August onwards.

The incidence of veld fires generally increase markedly from August. “We’ve already experienced winds of about 140km/hour over the Van Reneen’s Pass in July. It is therefore vitally important that farmers and landowners are prepared for any eventuality and remain vigilant,” said Tinus SteenkampSteenkamp, Free State Umbrella Fire Association’s general manager.

Agri North West assistant general manager Naude Pienaar said isolated small veld fires have so far occurred in the province. “I really want to call on our members to remain on their guard, see to it that their fire-fighting equipment is in good working order and join their local fire protection association as a matter of urgency.”

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