Fire Regulations

The following regulations guide fire related issues on Highlands Wilderness

November 2007

1.The fire act (101 of ’98) is the main guideline in all fire related issues. According to this law:

1.1. Highlands’ management need to:

1.1.1. Appoint a fire officer

1.1.2. Draft and apply a fire strategy

1.1.3. Support the activities of the local fire committee.

1.1.4. Have effective and sufficient firefighting equipment

1.1.5. Arrange training for staff

1.1.6. Prepare sufficient fire breaks

1.1.7. Assist firefighting activities in our area

1.2. All individuals are,

1.2.1. Obliged to help when a fire ignites in an area. This also applies to fires on neighboring property as fires which are not stopped in time can burn out of control and raze whole districts

1.2.2. Responsible for fire prevention on his own stand.

1.2.3. Legally liable for any fire originating on your stand. Be that from cooking fires from your builders or yourself as well as any other fire which originates on your stand.

1.2.4. You are expected to prove reasonable preventative measures.

2.  As a minimum measure, it is suggested that there should not be flammable materials within a 10 meter radius of your house. The suggestion is not to leave bare ground, but to keep grass short, remove dry leaves and especially Mexican Marigold (kakiebos) which, with its high oil content, burns vigorously. Low branches of trees can also be trimmed.

3. Make provision for conveniently placed and clearly marked additional firefighting equipment. These can be things like fire extinguishers, sand and/or fire swats.

4. Familiarise yourself with the location of the closest fire hydrant. The intent is not for the fire hose to directly reach your home, but rather to fill the tanks of high pressure firefighting pumps. Obviously time wasted by these driving around in order to reach a hydrant is not ideal.

5. At all times, but especially during the dry months (usually from beginning of June up to the end of October) ensure that neither you nor any of those persons making use of your property, shall make an open fire on any other place other than that specifically prepared for this purpose.

Such a place has:

5.1. A diameter of at least 4 meters which is cleared of any flammable material

5.2. On the direct parameter of the fireplace itself, a border which is either mason or packed with stone. This border acts as a wind screen. Therefore the height of the fire packed should be in reasonable relation to the height of the said border.

5.3. A form of first line fire extinguishing equipment in close proximity. This can be something like a purpose made fire extinguisher, a sand bucket, a tap equipped with a suitable hose or fire swats.

5.4. No open fire may be left alone. This implies that all fires be properly extinguished after use. Please take extreme care as especially hard wood can absorb so much heat energy that a fire which may at first inspection appear to be dead, can still be smoldering at the bottom or inside and can naturally be kindled and blown up during the night.