Burning veld is natural

In reply to a letter by Pauline entitled “Don’t burn the veld” (3 August, pg 9), I wish to expand on some of her concerns.

- Advertisement -

Burning of veld is far from barbaric. In fact, fire has been a natural cycle of life since time immemorial. Many veld types across
the globe can’t be sustained without periodic fires. Thus life itself is dependent on these natural fire cycles. The problem comes when humans have excluded fires from natural biomes and thus it now becomes a management tool rather than a natural undisturbed occurrence. As with all management, sometimes wrong decisions are taken and the results are catastrophic.

Fire itself can lead to an explosion of life, from insects to plant life to raptors in areas where the use thereof has been applied correctly. The indiscriminate use of fire as referred to by Pauline is governed by the National Veld and Forest Fire Act of 1998. Might I add that the act is also meant to govern controlled and prescribed fires which are often necessary to emulate natural cycles which humans have excluded. Nonetheless, her concerns are legitimate.

Unfortunately, enforcement of the act is still in its infancy and perhaps Pauline would care to take her concerns up with the local Fire Protection Association (FPA) in that area.

- Advertisement -