Western Cape budgets R16 million for wildfire season

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The Western Cape government says it has budgeted R16 million for the current wildfire season.

Several vegetation fires are currently burning in different parts of the province with the biggest so far in Simon’s Town.

Update on Simon’s Town fire:

There are also vegetation fires in the Cape Winelands District Municipality, along the Berg River in Franschhoek and in Du Toit’s Kloof outside Paarl.

Provincial Minister of Local Government, Anton Bredell, says 97% of the wildfires are caused by humans, sometimes intentionally.

Bredell says only 3% are due to natural causes such as lightning.

Wildfire season peaks between December and February when the grass is very dry in the Cape Town area.

Meanwhile, Cape Town Fire and Rescue Services spokesperson, Jermaine Carelse, has pleaded with the public to take precautions when celebrating during the festive season as the current weather conditions are conducive to starting fires.

Carelse urged those who will be having braais to be careful of the windy conditions.

“I think people should be mindful, especially during this festive period where I know they want to have a braai but they must be mindful and take into account the weather, the wind direction and that type of stuff…because there’s warm and dry conditions and windy conditions are always conducive to runaway fires.”

VIDEO | Firefighters persist in Simon’s Town as veld fire threat diminishes: