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Preparing for fire season

Community firefighters explain safety precautions residents need to take in preparation for fire season.

As winter settles in, the Community Group Firefighters Association (CGFA) urges residents, especially those who live near wetlands and open fields, to take precautionary measures for fire safety challenges.

With dry vegetation and strong winds, the risk of wildfires can escalate rapidly, posing a threat to lives, property, and the surrounding ecosystem. To mitigate these risks and safeguard against potential disasters, the CGFA has given the following advice to help residents protect their homes and community during fire season.

To avoid any fire permeating wetlands and open fields, residents are urged to regularly remove dry grass, leaves, and other flammable materials from their property.

“As custodians of safety, we understand the unique challenges faced by residents in proximity to natural landscapes. With the increasing frequency and severity of wildfires in recent years, the need for comprehensive fire safety education is of dire importance,” says Natasha Edwards, marketing and operations manager for the CGFA.

The National Veld and Forest Fire Act 101 of 1998 outlines specific statutory requirements for landowners to prepare and maintain firebreaks.

Landowners are required to prepare and maintain firebreaks on their side of the boundary between their land and any adjoining land. This includes ensuring that the firebreak is wide enough and free of flammable materials.

If firebreaks are to be prepared by burning, landowners must agree on a date with neighbouring landowners and inform the local fire protection association. If no agreement is reached, at least 14 days notice must be given.

In addition to proactive measures, the CGFA stresses the importance of remaining vigilant during periods of heightened fire risks.

” By fostering a culture of collective responsibility, residents can efficiently collaborate with the firefighters to mitigate the risk of wildfires and ensure safety,” Edwards adds.

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