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Preparation sees WC reduce fire incidents to 14,000

Even though individual fire incidents decreased from about 17,000 two years ago to around 14,000 this past season, officials said the enormity of the blazes were on the rise.

FILE: Working on Fire members battle a blaze. Picture: @wo_fire /Twitter

CAPE TOWN - The Western Cape’s various fire services have proven they are quick to react in emergencies.

Ninety-five percent of fires which broke out over the past several months were extinguished within the first hour of being reported.

Stats provided by the Disaster Risk Management Centre show that there have been around 14,000 blazes province-wide.

Experts count prevailing drought conditions as a result of climate change as a contributing factor to the severe fires experienced recently.

Even though individual fire incidents decreased from about 17,000 two years ago to around 14,000 this past season, officials said the enormity of the blazes were on the rise.

Local government MEC Anton Bredell said that careful fire response preparations by officials ensured success in combatting these infernos.

“They do a risk assessment to determine the likelihood of an area that’s going to burn and they put the aircraft closer to those fires so that the reaction time can be quicker. And it’s all of this intellect that helps us to get to a percentage of putting out 95% of the fires.”

Officials also addressed the prevailing water crisis in some municipalities and urged residents to keep consumption to a minimum.

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