Strong winds fuel fires in the Lowveld
Lowvelders experienced an abnormal hot Winter’s day on Tuesday, 07 August 2018 with temperatures reaching 32 degrees by midday. With an FDI already sitting high at 65 orange the chance of runaway fires was further increased by the sudden gusts of strong winds over the plateau of the Lebombo mountains.
By late afternoon, the Lowveld Escarpment Fire Protection Association (LEFPA) had been alerted to two fires which had started a mere 30 minutes apart. Aerial resources were immediately dispatched from the Graskop and Nelspruit Airfields.
All LEFPA’s aerial resources, which include fixed wing bombers, Command and Control aircraft (spotters) and helicopters, were soon enroute to assist in the suppression of these fires.
“With such strong winds the fires could easily have spread and caused severe damage to properties, but thanks to the quick mobilisation of ground and aerial resources, both fires were contained,” says Andre Scheepers, manager of the Lowveld and Escarpment Fire Protection Association (LEFPA).
“We are grateful to all the firefighters, ground and aerial teams, who are fighting these blazes tirelessly to save lives, property and the environment,” stated Emile Grobbelaar, acting CEO of Kishugu Aviation.
All burning operations and permits have been suspended until further notice and we request everyone to be on high alert and to report any wildfires to LEFPA on 0860 66 3473.