Prepare for the 2014 veld fire season

Land owners in the Free State have been asked to start preparing for the 2014 veld fire season.

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This was according to the general manager of the Free State Umbrella Fire Association, Thinus Steenkamp.

“We call on landowners to start making firebreaks as a matter of urgency and to ensure that all fire fighting equipment is in good working order,” said Steenkamp.

Landowners are allowed to continue with firebreaks until the end of July. From August onwards the risk of strong winds is too high.

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Steenkamp said landowners should educate their workers about the dangers of veld fires. Some of the most devastating fires in the Free State last year were caused by coals and open fires from workers’ dwellings.

The NSPCA has meanwhile petitioned famers, farming communities and everyone with farm animals to plan ahead and prevent suffering to animals this coming winter. “Winter is approaching. So please be prepared,” said Senior Inspector Andries Venter, manager of the NSPCA’s Farm Animal Protection Unit.