Blaze warning: officials vow to crack down on fire starters

2009-09-04 00:00

AS the heat wave persists in KwaZulu-Natal, the Department of Local Government and Traditional Affairs has issued strong warnings to people dealing with any objects that may lead to the spread of runaway fires to remain alert, adding that any threat to tourist attractions is a risk to the economy.

Several wildfire outbreaks were experienced in different parts of the province as the heat reached alarming proportions.

Infernos on Wednesday swept through critical tourist nodes such as Cathedral Peak, famous for its Drakensberg World Heritage Site, as well as areas in Winterton, Eshowe and Hluhluwe, where grazing land was damaged, threatening the game parks managed by Ezemvelo Wildlife.

Blazes swept through an oil processing factory in Westmead near Pinetown after a grass fire, fuelled by strong winds, got out of control.

“We are warning people to exercise extra caution in dealing with any objects that may lead to fires particularly as the province is experiencing dry and humid weather conditions which put the province on the high risk of exposure to veld fires,” said MEC Nomusa Dube, who is also the political head of disaster management in the province.

The SA Weather Bureau has predicted that temperatures would remain high right into the weekend.

According to Dube, all their disaster management centres have been activated and teams deployed on the ground.

“We have been successful in putting the fire under control in some areas. We will thereafter conduct an assessment of the damage caused.”

However she warned that people should guard against accidental “ignition” of fires, which might be caused by paraffin stoves and candles, amongst other things.

“We don’t want a situation like that of last year, when we lost some 30 lives during the blaze that raged through the province.

“Those caught burning fires will face the full might of the law,” she said.

Dube added that the public needed to be alerted to the fact that any threat to tourist attractions is a risk to the economy as tourism generates jobs and boosts the public purse.

Join the conversation!

24.com encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
0 comments
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24

 
/News

Book flights

Compare, Book, Fly

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.




Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.