Veld fires

With winter at its end, high wind warnings escalate and with the rain yet to arrive, the fire risk is highly dangerous. As the veld areas are still very dry, please assist us by not throwing your cigarette buds into the veld when driving or walking and please do not burn your garden waste close to any open areas bordering the veld areas. Please inform control room on 010 015 0968 or any estate staff should you notice fire or smoke nearby.

We had numerous fires this winter, both inside and outside the estate. Three fires outside were planned fires and another 5 fires outside, was unplanned and run-away fires. The 4 fires inside was unplanned run-away fires which are under investigation.

Most fires to date have caused damage to vegetation but most animals were able to escape. The same could not be said for the most recent fire which was on 12 September 2019. This fire was driven by strong winds on the afternoon and took no mercy on any life in its path of destruction. Sadly, we have lost numerous animals which included Reedbuck, Duiker, Guinee fowl, dassies, mongooses, hedgehogs and all other forms of invertebrate life. It was an extremely hot fire that left a trail of destruction.

The fire was brought under control after 4 hours of battling against the strong wind driving the fire, high vegetation fuel loads escalating heat and danger to fire fighters, and exhausted bodies from running up and down the koppies to try and contain the fire and mostly burning eyes and smoke-filled lungs. Without the help from all involved, the fire would have done much more damage. A special thanks is to be given to the estate and Fidelity security staff, Meyers farm and Nature estate staff and the fire department for the effort given to bring the fire under control.

The after effects of the fire have been devastating. Animals that died are removed daily and injured animals are still being tended to as we come across them. Animals that managed to escape the fire but were badly injured are humanely euthanized where injuries are too severe to treat. Please report any animal noticed with burn wounds in order that we can attend to them as quickly as possible.