Not enough precautions to prevent wildfires, says ecologist

While firefighting crews have been working relentlessly to battle blazes across the Cape, an ecologist says poor ecological practices may be contributing to the problem.

Biodiversity expert Prof Eugene Moll says authorities have not taken enough precautionary measures to ensure that wildfire are easily contained when they break out.

He says some firebreaks in the Cape are "hopelessly inadequate", not well maintained or managed.

At the same time, Moll advises that some regions do not manage the biomass which help veldfires spread.

He says authorities and city officials need to consult with fire ecologists, while there are still any left in the field.

The fire committees are meant to take precautionary measures, but they don't make firebreaks anything like they should.

Prof Eugene Moll, extraordinary professor at UWC's Department of Biodiversity and Conservation Biology

If you're going to contain these fires then you have to have a belt between the urban and fynbos landscape for firefighters to at least contain the fire.

Prof Eugene Moll, extraordinary professor at UWC's Department of Biodiversity and Conservation Biology

We are now excellent at fighting fires, but we don't prevent them.

Prof Eugene Moll, extraordinary professor at UWC's Department of Biodiversity and Conservation Biology

Take a listen to his ecological perspective:

Also have a listen to callers share their responses:


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