Given that hot, windy and dry weather conditions are to prevail for the foreseeable future, the risk of runaway veld fires is greater than ever this year.
The Overberg is one of the worst affected veld fire areas in the Western Cape where fires are a natural phenomenon during the long, hot summers and the work of the Overstrand Municipality’s Fire Service, in particular, is vital in our fight to conserve the biodiversity of the region.
Two brand new fire awareness signs have been erected at Grootbos Private Nature Reserve just before Gansbaai on the R43 and at the Pringle Bay turn-off.
These signs do not only act as an awareness tool to get the message across that fires can be prevented, but also supply motorists with the Overstrand Fire Brigade number to call if you notice a fire or any sign of an impending fire in the area.
The bokkie signs have been kindly donated by the Greater Overberg Fire Protection Association (GoFPA). Frieda Lloyd of Cape Whale Coast Tourism assisted the landowners to make land available for signage and the Overberg Working for Fire Team helped with the installation thereof.
According to Assistant Chief: Overstrand Fire & Disaster Management Marlu Rust it is vital to educate communities about fires and fire prevention. “We must continuously talk to our families and friends about the dangers of fire and what to do when it breaks out,” he said.
“Homeowners, community leaders, planners and developers must work together and become more fire wise. We are all living in a fire prone environment hence the importance of implementing fire wise principles to protect people and property.
“We must find a sustainable balance between the protection of life/livelihoods and conservation of the biodiversity of the region - this can only be done through integrated fire management. Fire is after all everybody’s fight,” he concluded.
The public is urged to report fires immediately so that help can be dispatched as soon as possible.
In case of an emergency please contact Overstrand Fire, Rescue & Disaster Management on 028 312 2400. Be sure to save the number on your cellphone and to teach it to your children.