The Cape is stuck in another bout of heatwave weather, but some parts have it worse than others. The Cape Town Weather Office has warned that some areas of the West Coast District will need to prepare for instances where the heat could cause veld and bush fires.
“Whenever there are prolonged periods of little and no rain coupled with warm dry winds, veld or bush fires can easily be sparked and will spread rapidly in strong winds,” the Office said in a statement.
|Hazard||Alert Level||Valid From (SAST)||Valid To (SAST)|
|Extreme Heat||Advisory||11/02/20 8am||12/02/20 8pm|
The same warning has been extended over the Central and Little Karoo, as well as the Breede Valley Municipality for Wednesday, February 12.
“Don’t make fires in the open and/or leave fires unattended. Don’t throw cigarette butts out of cars or in the open veld. Don’t throw bottles in the veld as they can magnify the sun’s rays and start fires. Prepare and maintain fire breaks in a controlled manner. In the case of a large fire report it immediately and move away from the area to let the professionals deal with it. Never throw water onto a fire started by an electrical fault or fires started by oil or paraffin lamps. In this case sand or a blanket should be used to smother the fire. Listen to the radio or TV for warnings and obey the instructions from disaster management officers,” the Office added.
When temperatures and the humidity are high at the same time – or when the temperature exceeds a certain threshold – human ability to cool their bodies through sweating is reduced. This can be a real threat that leads to hyperthermia.
“Stay indoors in a cool room near a fan if possible. The old and infirm must take extra care to stay hydrated and cool. Avoid strenuous outdoor activity, playing excessive sport and hard labour. Dress in lightweight clothes and drink plenty of liquids not alcohol,” the Office said. “Listen to the radio or TV for warnings and obey the instructions from disaster management officers.”