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Working on Fire asks residents to be careful

Working on Fire (WOF) in Limpopo has reported an overwhelming loss of over 1153.528 hectares of vegetation to wildfires since the onset of 2024, intensifying concerns ahead of the impending winter fire season.

Ofentse Letswalo, spokesperson for WOF, says climate change has fuelled an alarming escalation in wildfire incidents. “With April 2024 marking the hottest month on record, we are witnessing an unprecedented strain on our natural ecosystems, as confirmed by leading scientists in the field.”

He said that the continuous rise in global temperatures, as documented by scientists for the 11th consecutive month, underscores the urgent need for proactive measures to mitigate the risk of wildfires. Leswalo gave the following fire safety tips as the winter fire season approaches:

• Create defensible space: Clear vegetation and combustible materials from around your home to create a buffer zone that reduces the risk of fire spreading.

• Develop an evacuation plan: Establish evacuation routes and communication protocols with family members, neighbors, and local authorities to ensure swift and coordinated action in the event of a wildfire.

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• Stay informed: Monitor weather forecasts, fire danger ratings, and emergency alerts to stay abreast of changing conditions and evacuation orders.

• Practice fire prevention: Adhere to fire restrictions and exercise caution when using open flames, equipment, or machinery outdoors. Dispose of cigarette butts and other flammable materials responsibly.

• Prepare emergencysupplies: Assemble a comprehensive emergency kit containing essential supplies such as water, food, first aid supplies, and important documents to sustain you and your family during evacuation.

“By adopting proactive measures and fostering a culture of preparedness, we can collectively mitigate the devastating impact of wildfires on our communities and environment,” Letswalo says.

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