Saturday, February 28, 2009

Swartberg Fire Good for Vegetation

- Linda Jaquet -

On Friday, 6 February, lightning started a fire on the west (Oudtshoorn) side of the Swartberg Pass, which spread to the Otto du Plessis or Gamkaskloof Road and burned for several days. The glow of the flames was visible in the night sky from Prince Albert, while the town’s residents were conscious of the pungent smell of burning veld. Farmers in the Scholtzkloof described the valley as choked with smoke.

According to Tony Marshall, manager of the Swartberg Nature Reserve, the fire had done the vegetation, largely fynbos, which had been the right age for burning, a lot of good. He told the Friend that variable winds had meant that the fire had been hard to control. “At times, it was pretty rough out there,” Marshall said.

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