More than 40 grassfires reported around PMB yesterday

2010-06-09 00:00

THICK grey smog covered almost the whole of Pietermaritzburg as a result of more than 40 grassfires around the city yesterday.

The smog was so thick that high buildings in the city centre could not be seen clearly from Willowton industrial area.

Msunduzi Municipality’s Fire Department communication officer, Linda Walden, said there were 42 fires burning around the city.

Other grass fires were reported in Richmond and Ashburton, she added.

“The main fires are in Pietermaritzburg, and we are worried about those that are burning on the side of the N3 highway because the smoke might cause accidents,” she said.

Among places where the fires were reported were Glenwood, Eastwood and Otto’s Bluff.

There were others on the sides of New England, Archie Gumede and Washington roads.

“We got a first call when I got to work this morning at about 6 am. Luckily we managed to contain these fires, although they kept us busy the whole day …” said Walden.

Working on Fire spokesperson Zanele Nxumalo said her team took part in day-long firefighting yesterday in Bulwer and Melmoth, northern KwaZulu-Natal.

“The fire in Bulwer started during the day, and we worked until around 8 pm to put it out.

“But at about 9 am today it started again. Right now it is under control,” Nxumalo said yesterday afternoon.

She said the Melmoth fire was put out only after it had spread into a sugar cane farm.

Wonderboy Dlamini of the Zululand District Municipality’s disaster management said his team of firefighters attended to a number of fires in northern KwaZulu-Natal. He said they were mostly burning on private properties.


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