Traffic was badly affected on the R21 on Sunday afternoon after a veld fire spread to the highway and burnt power lines. Picture: Ekurhuleni Emergency Services
Traffic was badly affected on the R21 on Sunday afternoon after a veld fire spread to the highway and burnt power lines. Picture: Ekurhuleni Emergency Services

Runaway veld fire spreads to R21 highway and burns power lines

By Botho Molosankwe Time of article published Aug 2, 2020

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Johannesburg - A veld fire that started early on Sunday afternoon spread over onto the R21 highway, burning electricity poles and resulting in heavily backed up traffic.

Due to the smoke that was impairing motorists’ view, one of the vehicles was damaged after hitting some of the cables that were lying on the road.

Ekurhuleni Emergency Services’ Eric Maloka said they received a call just before 3pm about a fire on the R21 near Kempton Park.

He said when they arrived at the scene, they found that the veld fire had spread and affected electricity poles.

“There was a huge grass fire and even the smoke was affecting traffic. We found that the fire had also burnt electricity poles.

“The cables from the electricity poles are now lying on the ground. One car hit those cables but fortunately did not catch fire.

“Traffic is heavily affected in both directions, especially towards Pretoria and we advise motorists that they use alternative routes,” he said.

Two weeks ago Maloka’s colleagues spent eight hours fighting a blaze that had erupted at a petrol station in Boksburg on Sunday evening due to a veld fire.

It is believed the blaze started when a nearby veld fire got out of control and spread to the Engen petrol station.

Although the petrol pumps and the convenience shop did not catch fire, a tyre store bases in the premises was razed.

A Wendy house was also destroyed.

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