Fire prevention, VITAL

2015-06-24 06:00

THERE is an appeal to KZN farmers and the public to be more aware and responsive to the dangers of fires this winter as dry, dangerous conditions continue to worsen throughout the province.

A concerned Simon Thomas of KwaZulu-Natal Fire Protection Association (KZN FPA) said: and#034;We have boosted our resources ahead of the fire season.

As of 15 June there will be 11 Single Engine Air Tankers (Seats) on standby, as well as seven Spotter aircraft and one helicopter. A second helicopter will be added to the fire programme on 1 July.and#034;

Reports show that some areas in KwaZulu-Natal have recorded the worst rainfall figures in more than 80 years and with very little relief forecast for the coming months, farmers and the public need to be on high alert going into an especially dry fire season.

The KZN Fire Protection Association (FPA), which assists with the activities of 23 fire protection associations registered in the province, together with KZN Agricultural Union, Kwanalu, have urged farmers and land owners to join their local FPA to ensure they keep up to date with the fire index and warnings issued.

and#034;We strongly advise all KZN farmers to take heed of the dire conditions and to prepare their fire breaks now, if they havenand#039;t done so already.

“It is important that farmers inform their local FPA before they burn and to keep a close eye on changing weather conditions. Firefighting equipment should also be checked with their neighbouring farmand#039;s equipment for compatibility,and#034; said Thomas.

Thomas also pointed out that fire awareness and prevention is not only the responsibility of farmers, but also a reality and danger for the public at large - especially during the colder months.

He cited that over 90% of unwanted fires are caused by human negligence. The risk of household fires has also been exacerbated by effects of load shedding and the increased use of alternative sources of light and heat. Candles, gas stoves and oil heaters are notorious sources of household fires, he said. He recommended talking to children regularly about the dangers of fire, matches and lighters and always keeping them out of reach.

The KwaZulu-Natal Fire Protection Associationand#039;s hotline number is 0861 KZNFPA (59 6 372). - Kwanalu.

THE KZN FIRE PROTECTION ASSOCIATION (FPA), WHICH ASSISTS WITH THE ACTIVITIES OF 23 FIRE PROTECTION ASSOCIATIONS REGISTERED IN THE PROVINCE, TOGETHER WITH KZN AGRICULTURAL UNION, KWANALU, HAVE URGED FARMERS AND LAND OWNERS TO JOIN THEIR LOCAL FPA TO ENSURE THEY KEEP UP TO DATE WITH THE FIRE INDEX AND WARNINGS ISSUED

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