Newcastle mayor Advocate Makhosini Nkosi says the extreme heat sweeping across the municipality has increased risks of runaway fires. He says temperatures reached an 40-degrees on Thursday, and the conditions are expected to persist.
He says while braais are popular during this time of year, it is important to extinguish all fires after cooking. He has also appealed to the public to stay in-doors and keep hydrated.
“…we really want to encourage our people to keep indoors as much as they can, we also want to encourage them to use water wisely, make sure that they use water for consumption purposes. We also like to ask our people that this is a time of festive and people are mainly doing braai and so forth, they must just be careful that when they done with the fire, they must make sure that they extinguish fires completely.”
As temperatures soar, the KwaZulu-Natal provincial Department of Agriculture is appealing to members of the public to ensure that their livestock and pets are protected.
KZN Agriculture Spokesperson, Phathiswa Mfuyo, says people must look after the needs of their animals when extreme weather strikes.
“We are calling on all livestock farmers to ensure that their animals have unlimited access to clean drinking water. These include dogs and cats in an around KwaZulu Natal and also, as you know, after good heat like we have at the moment, we are going to have more rains which will bring parasites. So we are appealing to all the livestock farmers to adhere to deeding regime to ensure that their livestock is safe.”
Meanwhile – thundershowers and gale force winds are also forecast for parts of KwaZulu-Natal overnight. Weather Services forecaster Thandiwe Gumede, says the public must be cautious during these drastic weather changes.
” For tonight over KZN we expecting scattered showers and thundershowers – both at 60% chance – that is valid for the whole province… With that, there is a watch out for severe thunderstorms over most parts of KwaZulu Natal. Thunderstorms are expected to be accompanied by excessive lightning, hail, strong damaging wind and heavy rain that might lead to flooding in some places.”