Veld fires ravage Free State farms

Veld fires ravage Free State farms

Veld fires have once again broken out and continue to ravage farms in the Eastern part of the Free State province. The Department of Agriculture, Rural Development and Environmental Affairs is warning farmers about the veld fires.

According to the department, the fires broke out on Sunday, 7 July 2024, and are wreaking havoc near towns and farming areas between Fouriesburg and Bethlehem, Kroonstaad and Edenville and Harrismith.

The cause of the fire is yet unknown and is being investigated.

Veld fires broke out last year in September and had a devastating blow to farmers and the economy of the province. About 30 000 ha of land was consumed by the fire leaving one fatality, and some farmers losing their livestock to the fire. Some farmers were forced to down scale while others had to close shop.

According to Dr Jack Armour, the Commercial Manager for Free State Agriculture at the time when he spoke to The Business Weekly, farmers lost grazing land and would take three years to recover.

Essentially, some farmers have not yet recovered from the previous disaster and they are now confronted with yet another disaster.

The Free State MEC for Agriculture, Rural Development and Environmental Affairs Ms Elzabe Rockman will today conduct a site visit at affected farms in Clarens and other affected areas and interact with them to gain more information from them regarding the fire.

The extent the damage caused by the fire is yet to be determined.


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