SIX veld fires have been extinguished by the Department of Environmental Affairs’ Working on Fire during the last week of June in the Free State. The latest fires bring the total number of veld fires extinguished in the province to 16 since the beginning of June.
The six latest fires were in Harrismith, Winburg, Boshof, Clocolan and two fires in Marquard. The province had an early start to this fire season: WoF teams had put out a total of 14 fires in May, a month ahead of the official beginning of the fire season.
Last year, a total of 46 fires were extinguished in June. The 2014 fire season was the worst winter fire season in seven years. The 2015 Winter Fire Season officially started on the 1st of June and normally continues until the end of November. Many specialists expect that this year, there will be an increased risk of veld and forest fires, given the current long term weather forecast for the country’s winter fire season provinces.
The Government funded programme has 700 fire fighters in the Free State and the Northern Cape provinces. They are based in 27 bases across the provinces.