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Agri Western Cape: WC fires devastating for farming

Firefighters have had to deal with more than 700 vegetation fires in the province since the beginning of the year.

Firefighters extinguish a fire in Helderberg on 4 January 2015. Picture: @CPFPA1

CAPE TOWN - Advocacy group Agri-Wes Cape says the recent fires in parts of the Western Cape have had a devastating impact on agricultural land.

Firefighters have had to deal with more than 700 vegetation fires in the province since the beginning of the year.
While some property has been damaged in those fires, vineyards, orchards and equipment have also been destroyed.

Agri-Wes Cape CEO Carl Opperman says the devastation adds to the burden caused by the drought.

“The effect that these fires are having, it is not only using critical water that we need for production purposes, it’s also in a situation where infrastructure is damaged, where crops are being damaged. Where livelihoods of certain people are being severely affected.”

Opperman adds it's providing a serious headache.

“We’ve got the water shortages that we are having at the moment, now we have got these tremendous fires coming through and it is also going through productive land. It is quite concerning, its quiet challenging for a farmer to keep up above these crises.”

(Edited by Neo Koza)