MD Message July 2016
We are currently in the midst of the winter fire season and have seen quite a reduction in fires compared to the same period in previous years.
A number of factors have contributed to the significant drop in fires thus far this season.
We have seen much better preparedness through the various partnerships between local authorities, land owners, Fire Protection Associations and community members. Through our engagement with these sectors there has been a much more vigilant implementation of our Integrated Fire Management plans.
Fire prevention measures put in place included prescribed burning, fuel load reduction, community fire awareness campaigns and early warning detection systems. From our perspective, the partnerships between landowners, FPAs and local fire authorities have worked well this year and, with the recent launch by the Minister of Agriculture of the National Veld and Forest Fire Working Group, a lot more will now be done to ensure compliance with the provisions of the National Veld and Forest Fire Act.
The rain experienced in some of our northern provinces, while welcomed by our farming communities, does create conditions conducive to increased fuel loads, which could pose a fire risk later on during the drier winter months. I want to urge our firefighters to remain vigilant throughout these next few months and to stay safe on the fire line.
Let me also thank all our participants and management for their contributions during the recent Mandela Day activities. I am profoundly proud of the fact that in all our provinces we contributed to ‘living the Madiba legacy’ by doing various community-related activities.