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Media Release: Golden Gate - Fire

Date: 5th September 2003

Wednesday, 3 September, an uncontrolled fire started on a farm north of Golden Gate . 

This fire swept across Qwa Qwa Nature Reserve and managed to cross Golden Gate 's fire break in the Kristalpan area on Thursday, 4 September. Major fire fighting, including back burning, took place for the whole of yesterday until 08:00 last night in a mild to brisk easterly wind. All in Golden Gate thought that we've won the battle, but later last night the wind changed to a strong westerly. It changed the fire's direction, force and speed. This morning the fire was heading over a wide front towards the Golden Gate valley. We managed to keep it out of the Glen Reenen basin and started a back burn all along the northern side of the main road running through Golden Gate from the Brandwag Rock to the western gate. While typing this report, watching the swirling smoke still passing by, I dare say that after a few battles the war is won. None of Golden Gate 's facilities or structures were in danger at any time. It should also be stated that this fire was not necessarily bad for the environment, quite the contrary. Some of the areas north of the main road did not burn for three seasons in a row, while most of it didn't burn for even longer. The grass was becoming extremely thick and difficult to graze in places, with a thick dead mass on most slopes.

Issued by: 
Johan Taljaard 
Park Manager 
Golden Gate Highlands National Park 
(9 September 2003)

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