Southern Free State fires biggest in province history

On 12-13 July 2021, 104 235ha of farmland was burned to the ground. According to Dr Jack Armour, Free State Agriculture commercial manager, these fires represent the single biggest fire event recorded in the Free State province.

“Official figures released 22 July by the Free State Umbrella Fire Protection Association (FSUFPA) indicate that grazing land, livestock and game farms were devastated.”, said Armour.

The report indicates that 396 farms portions were burned in total, 35 of which burned 100%, 134 burned 90%, and 216 farms burned more than 50% of their surface area.

Burn damage (ha and %) of the 12-13 July fire that started near Petrusburg in the Southern Free State

Stats Ha % # of farms
 ha 100% burn 4 948 5% 37
ha > 90% burn 43 528 42% 134
ha > 75% burn 67 801 65% 197
ha >50% burn 88 237 84% 261
Total Burn 104 845 396

According to the FSUFPA report, “The fire started around 12 July at 11:00 about 22 km 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 a 100km. Conditions were ideal for extremely dangerous runaway veld-fires with cold dry 70km/h winds to which farmers of the Fire Protection Associations were powerless”.

According to Free State Agriculture (FSA) the cost in loss of grazing pasture is estimated to be a R345.5 million. In addition, the early estimate of livestock and infrastructure loss amounts to R33.5mil.

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/

Alternatively, financial contributions can be made to Vrystaat Landbou, ABSA, Account nr: 470940670, Branch: 632005 with reference “FIRES” + cell number.

The FSA office can be contacted on 051-444 4609 or info@vslandbou.co.za for contact details of feed drop off point coordinators.

Suid-Vrystaat brand die grootste in die provinsie se geskiedenis

Op 12-13 Julie 2021 is 104 235 ha landbougrond tot op die grond afgebrand. Volgens dr Jack Armour, kommersiële bestuurder van Vrystaat Landbou (VL), is hierdie brande die grootste enkele brandgebeurtenis wat in die Vrystaat-provinsie aangeteken is.

“Amptelike syfers wat op 22 Julie deur die Vrystaat Sambreel Brandbeskermings Vereniging (FSUFPA) bekend gemaak is, dui aan dat weiveld, vee en wildplase verwoes is.”, sê Armour.

Die verslag dui aan dat 396 plaaseenhede in totaal gebrand het, waarvan 35 plase 100% gebrand het, 134 plase het 90% gebrand en 216 plase het meer as 50% van hul oppervlakte verbrand.

Brandskade (ha en %) van die brand op 12-13 Julie wat naby Petrusburg in die Suid-Vrystaat ontstaan het

Stats Ha % #Aantal plase
 ha 100% gebrand 4 948 5% 37
ha > 90% gebrand 43 528 42% 134
ha > 75% gebrand 67 801 65% 197
ha >50% gebrand 88 237 84% 261
Totaal gebrand 104 845 396

 

Volgens die FSUFPA-verslag,  het “die brand omstreeks 12 Julie om 11:00 ongeveer 22 km suid van Petrusburg ontstaan. Die vuur het in die suidelike rigting gebrand en daarna in ‘n oostelike rigting beweeg. Die brand het meer as 27 uur gewoed en 100km deurkruis. Die toestande was ideaal vir uiters gevaarlike wegholveldbrande weens koue droë wind van 70 km/h , waarteen boere van die Brandbeskermingsverenigings magteloos was ”.

Volgens Vrystaat Landbou (VL) word die koste van verlies op weiding na raming R345,5 miljoen geskat. Boonop beloop die vroeë skatting van verlies aan vee en infrastruktuur R33,5 miljoen.

VL doen ‘n beroep op die publiek vir ondersteuning vir die boeregemeenskap in die verwoeste gebiede. Enigiemand wat die betrokke boere wil help, kan dit doen deur VL se webwerf te besoek by https://vrystaatlandbou.co.za/fire-disaster-fund/

Alternatiewelik kan finansiële bydraes gemaak word aan Vrystaat Landbou, ABSA, rekening nr: 470940670, tak: 632005 met verwysing “BRANDE” + selnommer.

Die VL-kantoor kan gekontak word by 051-444 4609 of info@vslandbou.co.za vir kontakbesonderhede van koördineerders by voer afleweringspunte.