With the fire season upon the summer rainfall regions of South Africa, the Department of Water Affairs and Forestry urged landowners to make sure that they are aware of regulations pertaining to wildfire prevention and control, and of the implications of failing to abide by these regulations.
To assist landowners government’s Working on Fire (WoF) programme has published a booklet comprehensively outlining their responsibilities in terms of establishing or joining local fire protection agencies, having fire control equipment available and burning firebreaks. Spokesperson for WoF Evelyn Holtzhausen told Farmer’s Weekly that the booklet You, Wildfires and the Law could be obtained free of charge by sending a stamped, self-addressed envelope to Working on Fire, Private Bag X7, Claremont, 7735. “The booklets are available in English, Afrikaans, Zulu, Xhosa and North Sotho,” he added. “It is essential for landowners to have these booklets, because if they are found to have been negligent in terms of preventing or controlling a wildfire, they could be held criminally or financially liable for injury or death to humans and livestock, and damage to property, assets and land that was caused as a result of this negligence.”– Lloyd Phillips
Some important contact details in the fight against wildfires are: Department of Water Affairs and Forestry, www.dwaf.gov.za; Agri SA, www.agriinfo.co.za; Forestry South Africa, www.forestry.co.za; and Working on Fire, www.workingonfire.org.