Free State Umbrella Fire Protection Association says strong winds have reignited the veld fire that was contained in the Northern Cape.

The fire started on Sunday in Hertzogville allegedly by violent protestors and spread to the Northern Cape province.

General manager Johan Breytenbach says on Thursday afternoon strong wind conditions drove the fire into the Free State area.

Breytenbach says the fire spread rapidly over a large area of the Free State.

“There was definitely extensive damage, the size and scope of the fire Thursday night is going to be ascertained with spot aircraft going up right now to ascertain the scope and the extent of the fire. It was a very serious fire that spread very rapidly. The first thunderstorm was followed by the second thunderstorm that made the conditions very seriously, extensive fire will definitely damage property and livestock. It was a very serious fire over a quite large area.”

Livestock

Farmers in the Free State have lost over R2 million worth of livestock due to veld fires.

On Wednesday, the Portfolio Committee on Agriculture called on the 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.