Gauteng weather warning: Sever

Photo: SAWS

Gauteng weather warning: Severe ‘Level 10 fire alert’ issued for Thursday

You won’t find a weather warning this severe for some time: Gauteng is on a ‘Level 10 alert’ for possible veld fires on Thursday – here’s what to expect.

Gauteng weather warning: Sever

Photo: SAWS

Well, this isn’t pleasant. Large swathes of Gauteng have been placed under a Level 10 weather warning for Thursday 16 September, as high winds and hot conditions threaten to cause fire-related chaos tomorrow.

What is a Level 10 fire alert?

The weather warning itself is no guarantee that raging veld fires will break out, but a Level 10 alert for fire is the highest possible number on the SA Weather Service’s scale. That means that there is a ‘high likelihood’ of damage should a blaze get going, and the impact level has been designated ‘severe’.

Gauteng weather warning for Thursday 16 September

According to SAWS’ official website, there’s a significant chance that an inferno could ‘spread rapidly’ in eastern regions of Gauteng, with both Pretoria and Johannesburg on high alert. Parts of Limpopo, North West, Free State, KZN, and even the Northern Cape have also been told to prepare for possible wildfires.

Photo: Supplied

Pretoria, Johannesburg braced for possible veld fires

Emergency services, particularly those local to Pretoria and Johannesburg, have been briefed about these developments. Between 10:00 to 18:00 on Thursday, the Level 10 weather warning will come into effect.

SAWS officials believe that there is a ‘possible threat to human life’, and have implored firefighters to respond swiftly ‘to the first sign of smoke’. The following guidance has been published on their website:

“Conditions are such that the FDI index 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.”

“The emergency services shall be instructed as follows: Fire teams, labour and equipment are to be placed on full stand-by. At the first sign of smoke, every possible measure should be taken in order to bring the fire under control in the shortest possible time. All available aircraft are to be called for without delay.”