CONTROLLED WETLAND BURNING
Dear WNHA Member / Wakkerstroom Villager / Interested party
If you have been a villager of Wakkerstroom for more than one or two winters, you will be very familiar with the issue of fire. Our village is surrounded by beautiful grasslands and an extensive wetland, both of which run the risk of extreme fire events during the dry winter months. You will, no doubt, recall the dramatic events over recent years when the wetland has burnt uncontrollably.
The Wakkerstroom Natural Heritage Association, together with BirdLife South Africa Wakkerstroom Centre and surrounding farmers, have arranged to carry out a controlled preventive burning around the perimeter of the wetland reserve in order to create a fire break that will go some way to controlling runaway fires that may arise in the surrounding grassland or in the wetland itself during this winter season. The intention is not to burn the entire wetland, but to create a fire break around the wetland.
This burning is planned to take place on a suitable weather day during the week of 26th May and will be organised and controlled by a team of local farmers and the Groenvlei Fire Protection Association, all of whom are volunteering the use of their time, their staff’s time and their equipment. The WNHA will be sponsoring the fuel that is consumed by the farmers and together with Oude Stasie will sponsor a function to be held at Oude Stasie for the farmers following the burning.
We appeal to all residents and owners who live along the border of the wetland reserve to allow the fire-fighting teams access to their property on the day of the burn and to ensure that their outside water taps are in good working condition and to have available hose pipes that are in good working condition and of sufficient length to reach the boundaries of their property accessible for use by the fire teams should they be needed. We also appeal to all residents and owners who live along the wetland perimeter and any other residents, to make a contribution to the WNHA towards the cost of organising this burn.
The WNHA’s banking details are FNB, account number 6207 435 5134 branch code 270543. Please provide your name and the word “FIRE” in the reference.
Karel Landman, from the Groenvlei Farmer’s Association, and Rory Wilkie will be co-ordinating this exercise.
The WNHA Committee
20 May 2014