Social & Community News
08 April 2024

Koster – The Kgetlengrivier Fire Protection Association (FPA) convened for its annual general meeting (AGM) on 18 March 2024, laying out a proactive strategy to combat the anticipated challenges of an upcoming fire season projected to start earlier and with more intensity than previous years.

Chairperson Garry Needham underscored the urgency of the situation, stating, “With the serious threat of a warmer and drier end to summer, it’s imperative we review and adapt our plans for the coming months. Forecasts indicate an unusually warm autumn and winter, potentially leading to an earlier fire season characterised by more intense burns than we experienced last year. In response, it is critical we implement specific measures to mitigate this risk effectively.”

Key strategies highlighted by Needham include the early clearance of vegetation to reduce fire load and the risk of uncontrolled spread. “Early cutting will not only facilitate faster drying of ground materials but also enable an earlier start to controlled burning,” Needham explained. Additionally, maintaining roads in good condition is essential to prevent damage to farmers’ vehicles and ensure swift movement in emergencies, including the creation of turning points for vehicles during such situations.

The FPA also emphasises the importance of planning-controlled burns along road shoulders, taking into account the prevailing winds, and the timely preparation, checking, and servicing of all firefighting equipment.

The areas under the watchful eye of the Kgetlengrivier FPA include Vlaklaagte, Millville, Kortfontein, Vlakfontein, Klipbankfontein, Nooitgedacht, Lindleyspoort, Buffelshoek, Kaallaagte, Perskedraai, Koster, Enkelbos, Derby, Dwarsfontein, and Thulani.

As the Kgetlengrivier region moves into a potentially perilous fire season, the community’s vigilance and adherence to the FPA’s guidelines will be crucial in preventing and managing wildfires, protecting both lives and property in the process.

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