South Africa: The Burning Season – Wildfires Sweeping Across South Africa and Namibia Have Left Devastation in Their Wake

More than two million hectares of grazing land were burnt in fires across South Africa over the past year. In neighbouring Namibia, more than half a million hectares were lost.

Veld fires have left two firefighters dead and destroyed more than two million hectares in the Free State, North West, Northern Cape and Eastern Cape this year. In neighbouring Namibia, 580,480ha was burnt.

The wildfires also destroyed infrastructure and killed livestock.

The chairperson of the North West Umbrella Fire Protection Association, Eric Thabo Stoch, said two volunteer fighters died in separate fires in Vryburg and Ottosdal.

“About 8,000ha and six houses were burnt, four people were hospitalised and countless animals died… some were injured from the fire on the south of the Magaliesberg mountain recently,” he said.

“Kumbagana Game Lodge is burnt out,” Stoch said.

He said 626,164ha have burnt in North West, with 23,991 burn scars reported from 1 May to 14 September 2021.

“It is estimated that the losses are now between R3-billion and R3.5-billion for the season. About 12% of agricultural land and 6% of the North West province has been destroyed by wildfires… 41.3% of the area burnt from 1 May to 31 August is in…


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Author : Daily Maverick

Publish date : 2021-10-05 08:54:09

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