Veld fires kill four people 

Source: Veld fires kill four people | The Herald

Veld fires kill four people

Precious Manomano Herald Reporter

Four people were killed in veld fires that swept across some parts of the country since the beginning of the fire season.

Of the four who died, three are from Mashonaland West province while Mashonaland East has recorded one death.

To date, the country has recorded 2829 fire incidents which have destroyed over 658 000 hectares of land as well as property with an estimated value of US$230 000.

The Environmental Management Agency (EMA) environmental education and publicity manager Ms Amkela Sidange confirmed the incidents.

“Four fatalities have been recorded so far and these include two minor siblings in Hurungwe, a 59-year-old female adult from Zvimba and a 77-year-old man in Chikomba,” said Ms Sidange.

She said construction of fire guards by landowners is still low hence properties are still not protected with standard fire guards making them vulnerable to veld fires.

Ms Sidange said to date 852 tickets have been issued to defaulting landowners as well as opening of 59 dockets with the police for failing to put in place standard fireguards.

EMA has warned that 89 percent of the country is at high to extreme risk of veld fires, compared to 34 percent last year.

The areas that are traditionally not prone to veld fires are at risk this year due to increased biomass as a result of the good rains received this season.

The fire season stretches from July 31 up to October 31 each year.

Last year EMA had a record 30 percent decrease in fire incidences and land destroyed by veld fires.