67 wildfires this week

2010-09-23 17:44

Johannesburg - There have been 67 wildfires across South Africa this week, Working on Fire said on Thursday.

Spokesperson Michelle Kleinhans said there had been 19 fires in KwaZulu-Natal, 11 in Gauteng, eight in the Free State, 18 in Mpumalanga, 10 in Limpopo and one in the Western Cape.

Mpumalanga and KwaZulu-Natal were hardest hit.

"Blazes destroyed over 8 500ha near Piet Retief in Mpumalanga... All Working on Fire teams and aerial resources for the region were deployed."

Mpumalanga disaster management had issued a fire warning for the long weekend.

Kleinhans said this year's fire season had been severe because of the very dry conditions, with hot, windy weather accelerating the spread of wildfires.

However over 90% of runaway fires were caused by human negligence, she said.