A level 10 severe weather warning for veld fires has been issued for parts of the Northern Cape and Western Cape for Thursday by the South African Weather Service (SAWS).
THE SAWS WARNED THAT FIRES MAY DEVELOP AND SPREAD RAPIDLY
It warned of veld fire conditions from as early as 08:00 in the morning until late in the evening on Thursday.
“Conditions are such that the Fire Danger Index (FDI) is above 75. Under these conditions, fires may develop and spread rapidly, resulting in damage to property and possible loss of human and/or animal life.”
THESE ARE THE AREAS THAT WILL BE AFFECTED BY LEVEL 10 WARNING:
Areas that will be affected:
- Beaufort West
“Fire teams, labour, and equipment are to be placed on stand-by. The first sign of smoke, every possible measure should be taken in order to bring the fire under control in the shortest possible time,” the SAWS said.
HERE ARE SOME TIPS FOR VELD FIRES:
What you should do when veld fire approaches your property:
- Decide whether it is safer to stay or leave the scene.
- Wear protective clothing and footwear.
- Have emergency food and medical supplies ready.
- Move livestock to safer areas.
- Listen to the radio for news updates.
- Wet the garden and house, especially on the side of the approaching fire.
- Plug gutters and fill them with water.
- Fill baths, buckets, and dust bins with water in case the water supply fails, and have mops handy.
- Seal any gaps between the doors and floor using wet towels or similar items.
- Close all windows and doors.
- If you decide to stay, go indoors and remain there until the fire has passed.
- Take fire hoses and other firefighting equipment indoors with you.
- Check inside the house, including the roof cavity, and extinguish any small fires immediately.
- Remain vigilant after the fire has passed.
- If you decide to evacuate your home, remember that every second counts:
- Escape first, then call for help. Develop a home fire escape plan and make sure everyone in the family gathers at an agreed meeting place outside.
- Make sure everyone in the family knows two ways to escape from every room.
- Practice feeling your way out with your eyes closed.
- Never stand up in a fire, always crawl low under the smoke and try to keep your mouth covered.
- Practice your family emergency plan / home escape plan frequently with your family.
- Never return to a burning building for any reason, you could die.
- Finally, having a working smoke alarm dramatically increases your chances of surviving a home fire.
WHAT TO DO WITH AN INJURED ANIMAL:
If you come across any injured animals, or if you want to volunteer, you can call the Cape of Good Hope SPCA at 021 700 4159/8 or visit their Facebook page for more information.
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