Whinsley Masara, Chronicle Reporter
THE Environmental Management Agency (EMA) has applauded members of the public following a reduction of deaths due to veld fires from 16 last year to six this year.
Environmental Education and Publicity Manager for EMA Mr Steady Kangata said during the fire season, from July 31 to October 31, a decrease of 12 percent had been recorded in fire-related incidents.
He said although the fire season has come to an end, EMA will continue to be on high alert until the country receives substantial rains.
Mr Kangata said only 1 652 fire incidences had been recorded this fire season as compared to 1 881 during the same period last year.
“This resulted in the destruction of 1 197 335 hectares compared to 1 336 746 hectares during the same period last year, which translates to a 10, 4 percent decrease as at end October 2016,” he said.
Mr Kangata said only six lives were lost to veld fires this year compared to 16 last year.
“However, veld fire incidences increased this last month of October because of the high temperatures experienced during that period. Nonetheless, the fires were confined to road servitudes,” he said.
“We attribute the reduction in both the fire incidences and hectare burnt to the cooperation we got from the various stakeholders such as traditional leaders, farmers, and general community members.”