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 Post subject: Marakele: 50% destroyed in fire - Now under control!!
Unread postPosted: Tue Oct 12, 2010 1:00 pm 
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In the news today!!!12 October 2010

Johannesburg – Wild fires in Thabazimbi which had destroyed some 88 000 hectares had been brought under control, Working on Fire (WOF) said on Tuesday.

"The fire is under control and there has been no report of injuries or loss of life," said WOF public information officer Natasha de Kock.

However, firefighting teams remained on stand-by.

"It is still very, very dry and windy and we are all on stand-by at the moment."

She said the fires were brought under control on Monday evening.

Some 88 000 hectares had been destroyed, including 50% of the Marakele National Park in Limpopo.

The Limpopo provincial government could not confirm a newspaper report on Tuesday that the affected areas had been declared a disaster area.

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 Post subject: Re: Marakele - 50% destroyed in fire - Now under control!!
Unread postPosted: Tue Oct 12, 2010 5:18 pm 
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Anyone been there? :huh:

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 Post subject: Re: Marakele - 50% destroyed in fire - Now under control!!
Unread postPosted: Tue Oct 12, 2010 5:20 pm 
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I hope it is not so :shock: I just read a lovely TR from Marakele :(


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 Post subject: Re: Marakele - 50% destroyed in fire - Now under control!!
Unread postPosted: Tue Oct 12, 2010 5:46 pm 
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Thabazimbi blaze consumes veld
2010-10-11 21:06

Johannesburg - A Working on Fire (WoF) spokesperson, Evelyn Holtzhausen, said on Monday that more than 250 firefighters supported by fire-fighting aircraft were struggling to control the fire which has burnt about 80 000ha of veld in the Thabazimbi area since Friday."


Holtzhausen said in a statement that the hot temperatures of between 35 and 40ºC and strong winds in the area were fuelling the fire.

There were six WoF ground crews on the scene as well two WoF helicopters and two Defence Force helicopters.

The fire had burned 50% of the Marakele National Park.

No loss of life had been reported. However some farm structures in the area had burned.

About 100 SA Police Service trainees were at the fire line.

A meteorologist for WoF, Santjie du Toit, said temperatures in the area would remain high for the next two days.

An investigation would be launched into the cause of the fire once it had been brought under control, said Holtzhausen.


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 Post subject: Re: Marakele - 50% destroyed in fire - Now under control!!
Unread postPosted: Tue Oct 12, 2010 6:22 pm 
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Awful news, do hope there will be some rain soon to bring some relief. :(

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 Post subject: Re: Marakele - 50% destroyed in fire - Now under control!!
Unread postPosted: Tue Oct 12, 2010 6:32 pm 
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On the Sunday morning the 3rd October - we were on our way out and there was a lot of smoke coming over the mountain from the West towards Tlopi tented camp and we thought it looked like a huge fire - but not this bad :big_eyes:

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 Post subject: Re: Marakele - 50% destroyed in fire - Now under control!!
Unread postPosted: Tue Oct 12, 2010 9:36 pm 
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We plan to visit the park by End of November. Is it possible to stay at the Bontle Camping Site ?

Is there still some wild life to see?

We have reserved for two nights and now wonder whether it makes sense to visit the park.


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 Post subject: Re: Marakele - 50% destroyed in fire - Now under control!!
Unread postPosted: Tue Oct 12, 2010 9:59 pm 
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Animals do not disappear after a fire. They move out of its way, and then will move in to the burnt area. There they will often take advantage of the minerals stored in the ash. A bit later, within a week or two, the green will push through, and they will feast on the fresh growth.

Occasionally animals do get trapped, because of high winds or human obstructions, etc. But that is luckily the exception.

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 Post subject: Re: Marakele - 50% destroyed in fire - Now under control!!
Unread postPosted: Tue Oct 12, 2010 11:01 pm 
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rebell24 wrote:
We plan to visit the park by End of November. Is it possible to stay at the Bontle Camping Site ?

Is there still some wild life to see?

We have reserved for two nights and now wonder whether it makes sense to visit the park.


Have asked what damage has been done to accommodation etc.
If any...

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 Post subject: Re: Marakele - 50% destroyed in fire - Now under control!!
Unread postPosted: Tue Oct 12, 2010 11:23 pm 
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By the end of November the bush should, if just reasonable rain has fallen, be beautiful.

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 Post subject: Re: Marakele - 50% destroyed in fire - Now under control!!
Unread postPosted: Wed Oct 13, 2010 8:44 am 
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Have asked what damage has been done to accommodation etc.
If any...

Bert, please forward your concerns to Park Manager clairen@sanparks.org because the Marakele group e-mail sometimes isn't promptly attended to.

Kind Regards


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 Post subject: Re: Marakele - 50% destroyed in fire - Now under control!!
Unread postPosted: Wed Oct 13, 2010 10:23 am 
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"Have asked what damage has been done to accommodation etc.
If any..."

Hi all

We have just returned from 4 days at Tlopi tented camp in Marakele, we spent 4 days in the park from Thursday 7th to Sunday 10th. According to our game ranger, Sidney the fire started the day we arrived and by Friday the smoke over the whole park was very thick and at night the glow could be seen reflected in the sky over the back of the mountains.

The fire is in the North Eastern section of the park which is part of the area not accessable to the public visiting Bontle & Tlopi, so the accommodation and that section of the park has not been affected at all.

On Saturday night a huge electric storm blew in over the park which we all hoped would bring rain to help put the fire out, sadly it rained very lightly at Tlopi for about 1 minute and then blew back out to the north. It appeared to rain heavily at the back of the mountains but appeared to be more to the West of the fire, so I don't think it helped much.

I managed to take a few photos of the sky at about 8pm on Saturday night, with the electric storm & fire, from the photo one can get an idea of just how huge this fire was:

Image

We were very fortunate and saw many animals, including 6 rhino, during our stay. Again according to our ranger Sidney, the fire does not affect the animals as they automatically move in the opposite direction to get away from it and he says they are seldom killed by fire. So if anything there may now be more wildlife on the side where the public roads are as many of the animals were headed that way!

Hope this helps!!


Last edited by parksfanatic on Wed Oct 13, 2010 10:40 am, edited 2 times in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Marakele - 50% destroyed in fire - Now under control!!
Unread postPosted: Wed Oct 13, 2010 10:36 am 
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Please note that the press happily uses the word "Destroyed" in their articles.
It is of course not destroyed, just burned, but that word sounds more dramatic.

Imberbe has the right of it, one should go there once the green sprouts again!

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 Post subject: Re: Marakele - 50% destroyed in fire - Now under control!!
Unread postPosted: Wed Oct 13, 2010 11:29 am 
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Thank you parksfanatic and a warm welcome to the forums :thumbs_up:

It is great to have first hand reliable information as you cannot trust the medias these days not to exaggerate everything.


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 Post subject: Re: Marakele - 50% destroyed in fire - Now under control!!
Unread postPosted: Thu Oct 14, 2010 8:09 pm 
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Received this from the Park Manager Ntshane Basane Claire today
Quote:
Issue 1: What damage has been done to accommodation and animals?
· Plains areas where tourism infrastructure occur not impacted, i.e. Tlopi Tented Camp & Bontle Camp Site and road network not affected by the fire

· Burned area largely in mountainous area of the park, you can still enjoy the park and surroundings without suffering any impact.

· No damage to infrastructure or loss of animals

· Accomodation is still in order.

· Fire in the park has been suppressed/extinguished


SANparks statement about the fire

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