The Free State Umbrella Fire Project’s says additional resources from the provincial disaster management and Lejeleputswa District Disaster Management centres as well as external resources are being deployed to the area to fight the massive fires raging in parts of the province.
The association’s Johan Breytenbach says the veld fires in Boshof and Herzogville are at the rate that can be classified as a disaster, this as multiple extensive fires currently rage in the province.
The association says the fires crossed the border from the Northern Cape. Breytenbach says locals have been battling the fires since the weekend.
“Additional fire started in the Hertzogville area which is part of the Tokologo local municipality and local members and land owners as well as farmers have been battling the fire since Sunday afternoon. The fires that are still ongoing but with the prevailing extreme weather conditions are extremely difficult to extinguish and we need to start arranging for external resources to become available in the area,” says Breytenbach.
Meanwhile, the Portfolio Committee on Agriculture has called on Minister of Agriculture, Land Reform and Rural Development, Thoko Didiza to declare the areas in the Free State and Northern Cape affected by the huge and widespread veld fires disaster areas.
The committee says, in a statement, that many farms in areas such as Hertzogville, Hoopstad, Bultfontein and Dealesville have been destroyed. There have been huge losses of property, livestock and game.