As South Africa’s most arid province, the Northern Cape is prone to fires, especially during the hotter months. If you’re planning to visit the region this year, take note of these basic safety and fire-prevention tips
Don’t leave fires unattended
Whether you’re starting a campfire or want to get the braai going, please don’t leave your fire unattended. Afterwards, make sure it does not continue smouldering by extinguishing it properly. If you’re camping in a national park or visiting a nature reserve, stick to the fire-safety rules and don’t harm the surrounding ecosystem due to your negligence.
Discard cigarette butts responsibly
Flicking your cigarette butt out the car window can have grave consequences for people, animals and the environment. One of the main causes of runaway fires, a single cigarette butt can lead to the devastation of indigenous fauna and flora, not to mention threatening lives and property. Please always dispose of cigarette butts safely and responsibly.
Pack an emergency kit
If you’re planning a road trip anywhere around the country, make sure you have an updated emergency kit with medical and other supplies in the car. It’s best to be prepared, in case of illness or an accident. Also take along emergency food provisions. Be even more prepared if you’re an adventurer who enjoys hiking, biking or running around remote areas.
Report any fires to authorities quickly
It’s easy to help if you do spot a fire. Report it to the nearest fire station, police station and/or municipality. Time is of the essence, as fires spread quickly, particularly when it’s hot and dry. If you’re visiting an area with little or no cellphone service, make sure you know where to get help if necessary.
Don’t burn flammable or dangerous materials
Never burn hazardous materials such as rubbish, copper or rubber tyres, as this illegal and harmful to the environment.
The Northern Cape is particularly vulnerable to veld fires over summer as there is little or no rainfall, it is hot and the ground is dry. Recent fires have done serious damage to farmlands and surrounding areas. Help the province protect its natural habitat by being a champion for fire safety and awareness.