Free State fires 'a disaster'

2012-08-13 09:38
Farmer Con Badengorst surveys the scene after a devastating veld fire destroyed livestock, stores and grazing on his farm. (Mercia de Beer, Volksblad)

Farmer Con Badengorst surveys the scene after a devastating veld fire destroyed livestock, stores and grazing on his farm. (Mercia de Beer, Volksblad)

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Bloemfontein - Thousands of hectares have been destroyed by veld fires fanned by strong winds in the Free State, Volksblad newspaper reported on Monday.

"This is a disaster, I have never seen something such as this," farmer, Sias Hoffman, from Dewetsdorp, told the newspaper.

He said he was grateful for what he had left, but that many farmers had lost everything.

His son and a farm worker were injured in the fires and were treated for burns.

Farmers in various districts could do nothing, but watch as their grazing and animals were destroyed by the runaway fires, the newspaper reported.

Huge damages were reported in the Dewetsdorp and Wepener districts in the southern Free State, and in Memel in the eastern Free State.

Veld fires were also reported at Hobhouse, Smithfield, Bloemfontein, Karee, Brandfort, Kroonstad, Ladybrand, Fouriesburg, Ficksburg and Clocolan.

Free State department of agriculture spokesperson Malcolm Procter said more than 20 veld fires had been reported since Saturday in the Free State.

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