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Working on Fire Mpumalanga fights 74 fires in July

“Due to the unpredictable weather patterns and the Covid-19 pandemic, we are experiencing a challenging fire season, and with August being a windy month, we expect more of our teams to be dispatched in fighting runaway veld fires” Ms Mthembu added

The 2020 winter fire season is at its peak and the Department of Environment, Forestry, and Fisheries Working on Fire (WoF) firefighters in Mpumalanga, working with various Fire Protection

Associations (FPA’s), suppressed a total of 74 veld and forest fires during the month of July.

According to WoF’s provincial communication officer, Ms Amanda Mthembu, the fires recorded were all successfully contained and mop-up operations conducted.

“We dispatched a total of 20 teams to assist their FPAs and local municipalities in fire suppression operations in the month of July,” Ms Mthembu said.

In addition to the ground crews dispatched to extinguish these fires, WoF aerial resources provided aerial firefighting assistance and flew a total of 108.21 hours, during these fire suppression operations.

“Due to the unpredictable weather patterns and the Covid-19 pandemic, we are experiencing a challenging fire season, and with August being a windy month, we expect more of our teams to be dispatched in fighting runaway veld fires” Ms Mthembu added

WoF continues to partner with various provincial government departments, municipalities, private and public landowners, in attempts to minimise the dire effects of veld and forest fires.

They therefore appeal to communities at large to be fire-safe and to not start unnecessary fires as August is a particularly windy month.

“Keep the Fire Danger Index (FDI) in mind when starting fires, because there are days when it is red and no one should therefore start fires on that day,” Ms Mthembu concluded.

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