Fire prevention and management in areas where grass is predominant are an unequivocal must!
Fire, if properly planned and used by qualified teams, is also a powerful tool for conservation!
A balance might be struck between the hazard of a destructive fires and the intelligent use of fires to help conserving nature and reduce the encroachment of grass and trees.
In 2014 the Crocodile River Reserve Fire Protection Association (CCR FPA) was formed and registered with the Department of Forestry and Fishery. It is conceived as an open association aimed at fire information, prevention, and action, and is open to all residents from R512 to R511 in and around the Crocodile River Reserve.
Too many cases of damage to people and properties have happened because of criminal or imprudent lighting of fires or even rash actions of untrained fire fighters. Information is prevention; cutting firebreaks as the law prescribes is prevention; keeping tools like blowers and beaters always ready is prevention. Nobody can play with fire, and nobody should light a braai in the open field with the wind blowing high; nobody should burn rubbish where grass is prevailing and wind blows.
The CRR FPA is there to inform, prevent and ultimately fight fires that incidentally happen and spread. Arsonists will always be there, exploiting any opportunity for their interest particularly in our rural area. Unfortunately imprudent or careless people may create a dangerous fire that will damage properties and people. Braais in the open when the wind is blowing strong, not making recommended firebreaks (it is a criminal act not doing firebreaks in the rural areas), burning rubbish without any consideration for your neighbours, making block burns when it is not allowed, hoping that somebody will take care and not having firefighting tools ready, allowing fires be lit. These are some things that people do, obviously un-intentionally and many times simply caused by ignorance or carelessness. THE CRR-FPA Management ensures that information are spread and understood.
The CRR-FPA would be powerless if the management, appointed yearly by the members, is not helped by the members themselves. The large area that the CRR-FPA “controls” is split in a number of small areas where a member, appointed as CRR FPA UNIT MANAGER by the members, drives the CRR FPA’s objectives.