Social & Community News
05 October 2018

Rustenburg – September marked an alarming increase in the spread of veld fires in and around Rustenburg. As the fires raged, it was volunteers and the Rustenburg Fire Department who faced the infernos all over Rustenburg.

The brave men and women from this team were called out to approximately 60 fires in the past three weeks! In total; twelve house fires, two at commercial properties, three lapa or thatch fires, 25 grass fires that including the recent R24 and N4 Shylock fires and three miscellaneous fires, were attended to.

In an interview with the Platinum Weekly, the fire department advised that in the event of any fire, accident or dumping involving hazardous substances on a premises, the occupier must immediately report it to the Fire Department.

To assist in preventing fires, they recommended no premises not become overgrown and cutting grass and shrubs to a maximum height of 150 mm above ground level. An agricultural holding or farm must reduce its potential fire hazards by physically clearing a safety fire belt, at least five meters wide around the perimeter.

When a fire first ignites, it may be small enough that you can extinguish it with a fire blanket or a fire extinguisher on hand. 

By being prepared you improve your chance of not only extinguishing the fire but also reduce risking injury. 

If the fire is quickly spreading, producing dangerous amounts of smoke, or taking longer than five seconds to defeat with a fire extinguisher, you must pull a fire alarm, evacuate the building, and contact your nearest Fire Department. 

Only use water if you are sure the power source is turned off and throw the water at the base of the fire. Water at the speed you can draw it from a sink will only be effective if the fire is very small and contained.

Otherwise, it will spread faster than expected. However, remember that the safety of everyone in the proximity, including yourself, comes first.

Facing danger on a daily basis is not an easy task and yet these amazing men and women continue to risk their lives to keep the community safe. 

So, when the smoke clears and we’re all safe it’s important for us as a community to thank them for their bravery, service, and the sacrifices that they make for us on a daily basis.  

The courageous Rustenburg Fire Department in action.


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