Tshwane fire dept ill-equipped

Firefighters say they’re often ill-equipped to deal with emergencies as half of its units are unoperational.

Three firefighters sustained serious burns and a fire engine was destroyed when it got caught alight in a runaway veld fire. Picture: Supplied.

PRETORIA - As the Tshwane Municipality warns homeowners about runaway veld fires, it's also confirmed that more than half of the fire department's grass fire units are not operational.

The warning comes after three firefighters suffered serious burns and a fire engine destroyed while battling a fierce blaze at the weekend.

Officials have told Eyewitness News the vehicle should never have been deployed to tackle that fire because it was ill-equipped to do so.

The municipality's Selby Bokaba said the fire engine was there to support one of the grass fire units.

He added that the incident is now under investigation.

Firefighters said they are often ill-equipped to deal with fire emergencies.

Bokaba said only 12 of the city's 25 specialised grass fire units are operational with the remaining vehicles either broken on scheduled for services.

He confirmed this as city management issued a veld fire warning saying August winds have contributed to a drastic increase in rubbish and grass fires.