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Wildfires<h2 class="sectHeading">Risk factors </h2><p> Localised fires can spread rapidly and become a major threat under certain conditions:</p><ul><li>Strong winds </li><li>Areas of dry vegetation</li><li></li><li>Weather and climate conditions such as drought or El Niño</li><li>Presence of flammable substances such as gas or resin</li><li>Lack of an early warning system to alert firefighters</li></ul><div class="notification with-heading dark-copy pink bg-light-grey"><div class="graphic with-border"> <i class="info remember">​​​</i> </div><div class="desc"><h4>Report a fire</h4><p>If you spot a fire, contact Emergency Services immediately by calling <strong> <em>107</em></strong> from a landline or <em> <a>021 480 7700</a></em> from a cellphone.</p></div></div><h2 class="sectHeading">​​​​​​​​​​Help us prevent wildfires</h2><p>Wildfires can be devastating to plants, animals, humans and the environment. It can also disrupt road traffic and destroy infrastructure. We all have to be more careful with fire and open flames when outside.</p><h4> Take note of the following basic fire safety rules:</h4><ul><li>It is an offence to toss cigarette butts from vehicles or to drop them on the ground.</li><li>The sale, distribution and discharge of fireworks without a valid permit is an offence.</li><li>Maintain proper fire breaks around your property.</li><li>Keep your property clear of flammable debris like dead leaves, twigs or litter.</li><li>Clear debris from roof surfaces and gutters.</li><li>Keep access to fire hydrants open for use by the emergency services.</li><li>Only make a braai in safe or designated areas and extinguish the fire when done. Never leave a fire unattended.</li><li>Keep a bucket of water, sand or a garden hose close by; or keep a fire extinguisher in your vehicle or at your property.</li><li>Fire-proof your garden by limiting flammable vegetation species. You will need to reduce the growth of fire-loving vegetation – usually invasive alien plants – in and around your property by cutting and trimming on a regular basis.</li><li>Avoid slash and burn or bush-clearing activities during the high-risk days – you will have to apply for an open burning permit or have prior authorisation.</li><li>Store any fuels such as wood, gas, petrol or paraffin in a safe space away from living areas.</li><li>Keep matches, lighters, paraffin and other hazardous substances out of the reach of children.</li><li>Use safety caps on all containers.</li></ul><div class="notification with-heading dark-copy light-blue bg-light-grey"><div class="graphic with-border"> <i class="info fastfact">​​</i></div><div class="desc"><h4>Fast fact​</h4><p> </p>If you live on or near the urban fringe areas you will have a greater wildfire risk. Read about how to <a href="">prevent fires and protect your home</a>.</div></div><h2 class="sectHeading">What to do if you are caught in a wildfire​​​​​​​</h2><p>Do not attempt to fight the fire unless it is small and you know what you are doing. Otherwise, evacuate and report the fire to the City’s emergency services.</p><ul><li>Remember, smoke is the big danger: avoid inhaling it</li><li>When passing through a smoke-filled environment, keep low to avoid the rising smoke</li><li>Take short breaths through your nose until you reach safety</li><li>Try to cover your face with a damp cloth or handkerchief</li><li>Don’t try to save possessions – rather save yourself, other people and pets</li></ul><h4> If your clothes are on fire, perform the stop, drop and roll procedure:</h4><p> <strong>Step 1</strong>: Stop where you are<br><strong>Step 2</strong>: Drop to the floor<br><strong>Step 3</strong>: Roll around on the floor – this will help to smother (put out) the flames and may save your life</p><p>  </p> <span> <div class="notification with-heading dark-copy pink bg-light-grey"><div class="graphic with-border"> <i class="info toptip">​​​</i> </div><div class="desc"><h4>Have an emergency communication plan</h4><p> <b></b> </p>Create a plan for getting back together in case you are separated from family or friends during a wildfire. Read our <a href="" target="_blank">Family Disaster Preparedness Guidelines </a>and <a href="">list of emergency contact numbers</a>. You should be prepared to evacuate at short notice.</div></div></span> <div> <span> <p>If you are camping or hiking in one of our reserves, make sure that you have essential survival gear to aid in your evacuation:</p> <ul><li>First aid kit and essential medicines</li><li>Emergency flares</li><li>Fully charged cellphone and rechargeable battery pack</li><li>Extra food and water</li><li>Torch and extra batteries</li><li>Strong shoes and extra clothing</li><li>Portable, battery-operated radio</li><li>Cash and credit cards</li><li>Non-electrical can opener </li></ul></span></div><h2 class="sectHeading">​​​​​​​​​​Check the fire danger index​​​​​​​</h2><p>Our Fire Danger Index (FDI) tells you how serious the wildfire risk is on any given day in Cape Town. We communicate the FDI via the media and also post alerts using signs in reserves and parks.</p><div class="notification with-heading dark-copy light-blue bg-light-grey"><div class="graphic with-border"> <i class="info fastfact">​​</i></div><div class="desc"><h4>Fast fact​</h4><p>Vegetation fires add to global warming and climate change through the release of CO<sub>2</sub>. However, research shows that CO<sub>2</sub> from veld fires has less of an impact on global warming because the veld actually takes up more CO<sub>2</sub> after a fire than what was emitted during the fire.</p></div></div><p> Our <a href="" target="_blank">Fire Danger Index Table </a>will help you understand our terminology and will guide you on the do’s and don’ts on a particular day spent exploring outdoor areas. </p><h2 class="sectHeading">​​​​​​​​​​Wildfire reporting</h2><p>It is your civic duty to report a wildfire burning on your property to your neighbours and to the <a href="" target="_blank">Fire Protection Association</a>. You cannot interfere with or obstruct wildfire-fighting efforts. You are also responsible for drawing up a fire management plan.</p><h4> What must be included in a fire management plan?</h4><ul><li>Fire hazards that you have identified on your property</li><li>Location of fire breaks on your property</li><li>Areas on your property where controlled burns should be conducted</li></ul><h4> Do I have to do anything if I am only leasing (renting) the property?</h4><p>The legislation applies to lessees as much as it applies to the people who own properties.</p><h4> Am I required to have a fire break on my property?</h4><p>Yes – the basic rule is that every home should have fire breaks along the boundary of their property. This means that the roads authorities are responsible for setting up fire breaks along public roads. You can, however, agree in writing with your neighbour or the Fire Protection Association where you are going to put up your fire breaks on your property.</p><h4> Who will pay for the costs of a fire break?</h4><p>The costs of a fire break will be shared between the residents who decide to establish them.</p><h4> What do I do if my neighbour refuses to remove a fire hazard from their property?</h4><ul><li>Write a letter to your neighbour explaining why their actions are unlawful and dangerous. Request that they attend to the problem as a matter of urgency.</li><li>Report the matter to the <a href="" target="_blank">Fire Protection Association</a> in your area.</li><li>If your neighbour fails to act, you can contact the <a href="">Metropolitan Police Service</a>.</li></ul> <span> <div class="notification with-heading white-copy yellow bg-darker-grey"><div class="graphic"> <i class="info citycard">​​</i></div><div class="desc"><h4>City Connect</h4><p>  <a href="">Volunteer as a reservist firefighter</a></p></div></div></span> <h2 class="sectHeading">​​​​​​​​​​​Contact us​​​​​​​</h2><p> <a href=""> <strong>Fire and Rescue Service Department</strong></a></p><p> <em>Telephone (24-hour emergencies):</em></p><p> <em> <a>107</a> (landline) or <a>021 480 7700</a> (cellphone)</em><a href="" target="_blank"><i class="icon link-external"></i></a></p>GP0|#5e83776f-6dfa-465e-81cb-5c873e1d7da5;L0|#05e83776f-6dfa-465e-81cb-5c873e1d7da5|Wildfires;GTSet|#ef3a64a2-d764-44bc-9d69-3a63d3fadea1;GPP|#e1eec47d-9c40-4859-a001-a519b50f3e4a;GPP|#df0a3405-0ca1-4617-8047-15a034219fee;GPP|#245ec7aa-a528-4cd3-bcac-597c292db711;GP0|#959472e7-a21a-45b6-9a03-bec2b2067f83;L0|#0959472e7-a21a-45b6-9a03-bec2b2067f83|Wildfires;GPP|#c6d118c1-4a38-4635-ae3d-bf9f7ef0f2a3;GPP|#36dcb5fe-6bfc-4ae9-92d7-8bd08d1f6414;GPP|#af370586-9ba3-404a-9d6e-02066ca42752;GP0|#06d8aa19-ba2e-44ed-8f74-664f401c21dc;L0|#006d8aa19-ba2e-44ed-8f74-664f401c21dc|Wildfires;GPP|#0a4bd5be-45ba-4f29-9467-09eaac3d8884;GPP|#bdeab521-3d99-4e61-8a9d-b298f4037b2a;GPP|#c529c1ac-1f8d-48ae-8079-d34f4dae9c57Learn how to reduce the risk of wildfire, and what to do if a wildfire occurs.





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