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Fire damage to be measured

Published Aug 24, 2011

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Teams of traffic offices are assessing the damage caused by fires in North West, the public safety department said on Wednesday.

“We need to quantify the damage caused by the fires,” said spokesman Lesiba Moses Kgwele.

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The teams would also check on the safety of residents after veld fires on Tuesday.

Smoke from the fires, near Potchefstroom, reduced visibility to such an extent there was a three-vehicle pile-up on the N14 between Ventersdorp and Carletonville.

It had to be closed, but was reopened later on the day once the fires had been brought under control.

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Kgwele dismissed reports that the fires were deliberately started.

“The wind was so strong that it easily spread fires... the fires even crossed roads because of the force of the winds,” he said

Fires in Gauteng on Tuesday had also been brought under control, said Johannesburg emergency services spokeswoman Nana Radebe.

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In Tshwane, two houses burnt down in Lynnwood and a small factory burnt down in Akasia, said emergency management services spokesman Johan Pieterse.

There was also a fire on the Magaliesberg mountain, he said.

The Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals had deployed its farm animal rescue unit to areas affected by the fires, said spokeswoman Christine Kuch.

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“The unit is tasked with assisting injured livestock and any other animals in danger or distress from the fires,” she said. – Sapa

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