The Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries (DAFF) has rubbished claims that the fires in the Overberg area were exacerbated by the pine trees that were cut and left to dry.
DAFF Forestry Manager in the WC, Cyril Ndou says those allegations are not true, explaining that there were branches left behind by a company that is leasing the land whose contract is coming to an end.
He says when the pine trees are cut, the branches are scattered forming part of the ecosystem, but because the area is fynbos vegetation, the fires were bound to happen at some stage.
That vegetation has its own fire regime. It is bound to burn at a certain stage.— Cyril Ndou, Western Cape DAFF forestry manager
Forestry was established within an ecosystem of the fynbos so when these fires start even forestry burns.— Cyril Ndou, Western Cape DAFF forestry manager
Ndou says the department has been assisting when these disasters happen and he will be in contact with Working on Fire to map a way forward.
To hear the rest of the conversation with DAFF representative, listen below: