Agri HourDamage after historical FS veld #fires amounts to millions
─── 09:22 Mon, 02 Aug 2021
The Free State province has experienced its biggest veld fire yet between 12 and 13 July 2021. Free State Agriculture’s Dr Jack Armour says that thousands of hectares of grazing land were destroyed, and game and livestock were affected.
OFM News’ Lee Simmons spoke to Armour about the impact of the fire, statistics and the plans put in place to assist farmers in need…
“Official figures released on 22 July by the Free State Umbrella Fire Protection Association (FSUFPA) indicate that grazing land, livestock and game farms were devastated,” says Armour.
“The fire started around 12 July at 11:00, about 22 kilometres south of Petrusburg. The fire burnt in a southerly direction and then moved in an easterly direction. The fire raged for over 27 hours traversing 100 kilometres. Conditions were ideal for extremely dangerous runaway veld fires with cold, dry 70km/h winds, against which farmers of the Fire Protection Associations were powerless,” adds Armour.
He adds that the report indicates that 396 farm portions were burned in total, 35 of which burned 100%, 134 burned 90%, and 216 farms burned more than 50% of their surface area. “The cost of the loss of grazing pasture is estimated to be R345.5 million. In addition, the early estimate of livestock and infrastructure loss amounts to R33.5 million,” adds Armour.
Armour ends by saying that “FSA makes an appeal to the public for support for the farming community in the devastated areas. Anyone wishing to assist the affected farmers, can do so by visiting FSA’s website https://vrystaatlandbou.co.za/fire-disaster-fund/.”