Understanding Your Fire Risk: Are You Wildfire Ready?
DID YOU KNOW?
1. The Western Cape is an extreme fire risk region and due to global warming that risk is increasing.
2. Due to global warming, there is an increase in wind strength, heavy rain storms and lightning.
3. With every 1-degree increase in global temperature there is a 29% increase in fire risk.
THE COMBINATION OF FACTORS CONTRIBUTING TO FIRE RISK:
• FYNBOS - Burns readily due to its fine and fibrous nature.
• ALIEN VEGETATION - Rooikrans, gum trees and wattle catch fire rapidly.
• HIGH-TRAFFIC ROAD SKIRTING - Cigarettes butts carelessly disposed.
• ESKOM - Collapsed power lines, due to our gale-force winds.
• STRONG WINDS - Despite the risk, people still braai and a spark could be fanned into a fire.
PREPARATION IS KEY TO SURVIVAL
It is vital to have a plan of action in place in order to be prepared in case of a wildfire. Make sure that your possessions/assets are properly insured.
However, the best insurer cannot replace computer data files, personal documents, family photos, souvenirs and artwork. How much time will it take to rebuild your life?
We need to do everything we can to reduce the risk of a fire starting and gain those precious ‘extra minutes’ that will help give firefighters a better chance to get the fire under control. Reducing the fire hazards can make it safer for you to stay and defend your home.
TAKE THE FOLLOWING STEPS BY REMOVING:
• All dead vegetation from your property and verge.
• Any bushes close to windows, glass doors, wood decks or beams etc.
• All fast-burning alien vegetation - rooikrans, pampas grass, port jackson, black wattle or gum trees from your property and verge.
WHAT MAKES A FIRE WISE GARDEN BENEFICIAL?
A well-maintained garden will reduce the fire intensity and help slow down the fire’s progress. New gardens can be laid out as Fire Wise gardens.
If yours is an established or natural fynbos garden then you should work towards achieving a Fire Wise garden every single year.
Any emergency and/or distress call regarding drowning or accidents or fires can be reported to the Municipality’s 24-hour Fire & Rescue Emergency only number on 028 312 2400.
*For more advice on how you can safeguard your home, visit https://overbergfpa.co.za/wildfireready/