The Northern Cape Department of Agriculture, Land Reform and Rural Development will deploy personnel to assist in dealing with the outbreaks of fires on farms during this veld fire season, The Government Communication and Information System (GCIS) reports.
In the 2011/12 financial year, livestock were lost and about 422 133 hectares of grazing land in the province were ravished by veld fires, leaving one person dead and three injured.
"The priority must be to reduce the risk of veld fires as well as preparedness to combat veld fires that might occur," department spokesperson Phemelo Manankong said, adding that while they would closely monitor the situation, farmers and land users should remain alert and prepared. Manankong asked farmers, farm dwellers and motorists to "act wisely when dealing with open fires and when operating machinery or smoking."
According to the GCIS, Manankong urged farmers to ensure that fire-fighting equipment is easily accessible and in good working condition, saying that the sporadic fires are caused and driven by the aridness of grass and shrubbery as well as the prevailing winds during this time of the year.
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