By Caroline Muzhingi
The Environmental Management Agency (EMA) has warned the public against starting open fires during this fire season as these present a high risk of going out of control.
This fire season started earlier this year in June as opposed to July due to climatic changes and is expected to end in October.
EMA provincial information officer, Simon Musasiwa said the main causes of veld fires in the province have been human activities such as poaching, arson, land clearance and illegal mining operations.
Musasiwa urged farmers and land owners to construct standard fireguards around their properties and service their fire fighting equipment.
“It is everyone’s responsibility to ensure that the environment is well taken care of, remember we are together to safeguard the environment,” he said.
Musasiwa outlined that in 2017 the province lost 126 000 hectares of land to veld fires which was significantly higher than in 2016 therefore they have implemented measures to reduce the risk of veld fires.
Musasiwa said that the province is already experiencing fire outbreaks and they are yet to ascertain the causes and the magnitude of land lost.
“Gweru has recorded most out outbreaks so far we are busy battling them but at least no human life has been lost so far, “he added.
He said that uncontrolled veld fires threaten the economy of the country which depends on agriculture.