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Bush-clearing to help reduce fire risk in St Francis Bay

Kouga Municipality has been clearing high fire risk areas in St Francis Bay.

An intensive bush-clearing programme recently got under way in the popular seaside village, which has been plagued by recurring fires over the past few years.

Kouga Community Services Portfolio Councillor Daniel Benson said the bush-clearing was part of the action plan put together by the Fire Risk Reduction Committee.

“The Fire Risk Reduction Committee was established at the beginning of the year, specifically to look at ways to minimise the chances of fires breaking out in the St Francis area,” he explained.

“The committee consists of both municipal officials and community stakeholders, as everyone has a role to play if we are to keep residents safe from fire.”

He said the bush-clearing programme would focus on St Francis, due to the extremely high fire risk.

“Some sections of Jeffreys Bay, including Paradise Beach, will also be covered in this phase. The target areas are public open spaces, as well as private plots.”

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He said a service provider had been appointed to do the work.

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“They have been making use of specialised chipping machine to clear the plots and chip the debris, which leaves a layer of mulch on the ground as cover.”

He said fire breaks were also being created and would be maintained on an ongoing basis by the new Working on Fire teams in the area, as per an agreement that was reached with the municipality.

“We would also like to thank the many stakeholders who have been assisting. Eskom has been clearing brush underneath their power lines.

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