GARDEN ROUTE NEWS - SANParks, in partnership with MTO (forestry company Mountain to Ocean) and other stakeholders, are planning a prescribed burn in Grootriver today, Wednesday, 16 October - north of the N2 in Natures Valley, as well as Block K (the area north of existing pine plantations).
All resources will be on site including aerial support, ground resources, fire engines, fire-fighting teams to ensure the project succeeds. Fire breaks were also prepared in advance.
Park Manager for the Garden Route National Park, Paddy Gordon says ‘the purpose of the ecological or controlled burn is to reduce the fuel load.
It is also to reduce as many invasive alien plant species as possible in the Tsitsikamma mountain catchment area.’ Types of invasive alien plants found in the area are Eucalyptus, Acacia and Hakea.
All factors such as weather, wind and availability of resources will be considered prior to the burn. The estimated size of the area to be burnt is 23,3 hectares and is situated 450m North of the National Road (N2), approximately 5.1 km west of the Tollgate and 8 km east of the Crags Village (Kurland). ‘This area is made up of mainly Cape Mountain fynbos’ according to Senior Ranger in Tsitsikamma, Eugenia Mkhatshwa, which has not burnt in the last 19 years.
The significance of the burn is ultimately to limit the risk of wildfire North of the mountain catchment.
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