Urgent call for aerial firefighting assistance in South Africa’s Northern Cape fire

Urgent firefighting assistance has been called to South Africa’s Northern Cape region to support with battling blazes in the Kalahari region.

Firefighting methods including aerial assistance have been requested, in order to tackle the raging fires in the area between Kuruman and Danielskuil, Kuruman and Kathu, and in the Lohatlha area. The fires have been raging for the past three days.

The fires in the area have caused huge damage to thousands of hectares of land and livestock. Three houses, in the Savanna area between Kuruman and Danielskuil, have also been burnt to the ground.

DA councillor Braam van der Westhuizen has thanked all those involved for their firefighting efforts so far, including farmers and individuals on the ground who have tried to extinguish the flames.

Willie Aucamp, MP, Constituency Head of Kalahari, added: “We also note the assistance provided by Gamagara municipality and the John Taole Gaetsewe District Municipality but we are concerned that there has been no assistance by Gasegonyana municipality.

“I have spoken to Agriculture MEC, Mase Manopole, appealing for the provision of aerial assistance in fighting the fires and to assist with the urgent provision of feed to animals.

“As soon as the fire is under control, I will also be requesting the Premier, Dr Zamani Saul, to declare a provincial disaster in respect of the burnt area.

“Having to experience such crippling devastation two years in a row, is an extreme burden on especially our farmers and it will be crucial to ensure that support is immediately availed to assist those who have incurred damages and to provide ongoing feed for the surviving livestock.”

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