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Media Release: Karoo National Park fire not a threat to guests
The fire started on a neighboring farm and a northerly wind blew the fire towards the Park’s north-eastern section called Mountain View - which consists of mountain or escarpment veld – well away from the rest camp. Park Manager, Nico van der Walt, says the wind has been blowing the fire and smoke away from the rest camp, so there is no danger to guests. “It is only when they go up on the Lammertjiesleegte self-drive trail that they’ll experience some smoke in the area,” says van der Walt. Depending on the wind direction, visitors in the rest camp may pick up on the faint smell of smoke.
The Park’s Conservation team fought the fire from Saturday until Tuesday. Support from the Working on Fire Department was requested and a team of fire fighters was dispatched on Tuesday. A total of 60 people are currently deployed and consists of Park Rangers, Working on Fire and Transnet staff and the Beaufort West Fire Department. A fire fighting helicopter and crew are now also on their way to assist.
It is estimated that between 3 000 ha and 5 000 hectares of veld has already been destroyed inside the Park. No large herbivores are in danger, but smaller animals like hares, mice and snakes may have fallen victim to the fire. All the larger animals escaped to safer ground below the mountain – out of harm’s way.
South African National Parks (SANParks) Frontier Region Communications
Tel: 041 508 5422
Regional Manager: Communications, SANParks
Tel: 041 508 5422; Cell: 082 888 0201