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      Local news

      Blaze sets farmland on Ohrigstad Road alight

      Farm owners, workers and volunteers worked together to lessen structural damage.

      A raging veld fire damaged more than 100ha on Thursday August 26 on both sides of the R36 (Potloodspruit area, between Lydenburg and Ohrigstad). The fire started at around 10:30 and the cause is unknown.

      “I was at work when my mother phoned me at 11:00 to say our farm was on fire. Within the five minutes it took me to drive home, our whole farm, 21ha, had gone up in flames. This morning, Friday August 27, we had to buy new water pipes and the water pump station was damaged. I had to call in emergency help, because the electricity cables had melted and were damaged,” the farm owner said.

      According to volunteers and another farm owner, the fire jumped across the R36 and caused more damage on the other side of the road.

      In addition to farmers, volunteers and other landowners in the area helping to stop the fire from spreading, Thaba Chweu Fire and Emergency Service were on the scene to bring it under control.

      Landowners in the Dullstroom, Lydenburg, Belfast, Wonderfontein and Machadodorp areas are reminded to find more information on www.pafpa.org.za about the Veld and Forest Fire Act. The Platorand Area Fire Protection Association (Pafpa) warns farm owners on their website that the current dryness coupled with the effect of winds creates perfect conditions for runaway veld fires.
      During winter, veld fires are a serious threat to the agricultural sector, therefore farmers are urged to take note of risk-reduction measures, like fire breaks.

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