VKLM FIRE

 

The portal for public information to residents within the Victor Khanye Municipal area on safety

 

Sunday, 21 January 1900
00:00

Legal stuff:

 

  • This Website and all of its sub-pages are an independent run website with the pure intention of providing the community residing within the Victor Khanye Local Municipality vital information related to fire and life safety as well as preparation for adverse conditions that may impact all during a disaster or threatening disaster. In NO CIRCUMSTANCES is this page to be considered as an official page of the Victor Khanye Local Municipailty or representing this organization. To stop any allegations it is hereby registered that this site will remain independant and are 100% funded by the owner thereof.
  • The Victor Khanye Local Municipal website can be visited at www.vklm.gov.za or www.victorkhanyelm.gov.za
  • All weather related data is received or extracted with gratitude from the South African Weather Services (www.weathersa.co.za) with the exception of the UV Index map, which is obtained from SAWX (www.sawx.co.za), temperature graphs are obtained from Accuweather (www.accuweather.com). It may occur that the SAWS site is unavailable at the time of refreshing this page, on which instance the data from Ventusky (www.ventusky.com) are used for graphical representation and with comparison to the meteoblue or ECMWF data from the "Windy" website (www.windy.com) to provide the given data.
  • Warnings are issued by the South African Weather Services (SAWS) ONLY in the form of emails or message systems and those relevant to the Victor Khanye Municipal area is published under the "Weather Warnings" box on the main page for information and early warning purposes to the community.
  • Newsletters and most of the information related to snakes and snake safety are obtained from the African Snakebite Institute (ASI) (www.africansnakebiteinstitute.com) with gratitude to their continued research and inputs.

 

By notice from the Webmaster

DELMAS FIRE PROTECTION ASSOCIATION

 

IN PARTNERSHIP WITH THE VICTOR KHANYE MUNICIPAL FIRE DEPARTMENT

SUMMARY OF D-FPA RULES IN RELATION TO FIRES

 

1.  No fires are to be made INCLUDING FIRES FOR PREPARING FIRE BREAKS without a burning permit or approval from the FPO.

2.  Fire rating is to be checked, before planning firebreaks or burning down of lands.

3.  Firebreaks may not be done in the mornings, only from late afternoons.

4.  If lands need to be burned down, the FPO approve as per (1).

5.  Firebreaks must be preferably completed by the end of June each year.

6.  Open fires of any nature are prohibited during an incomming cold front.

7.  If you are not on the farm/plot you need to elect a representative, delegate a responsible person.

8.  It is your responsibility to own fire fighting equipment.

9.  It is your responsibility to extinguish fires on your farm/plot.

10. It is your responsibiity to report fires to the FPO, even if it was small and was extinguished.

 

PROCEDURE FOR APPLICATION OF BURN PERMIT

 

1. Obtain an application form from the "D-FPA Sub-Menu" dropdown list above, alternatively you can write the application and provide space for neighbours to sign;

2. Discuss your intentions with your neighbours, indicating the date/s of your intended burn operation and ensure you and your neighbours are aware of the risks.

    Let them sign the appication indicating support or objection;

3. Forward the application to the Fire Protection Officer (FPO) or Chairperson or the FPA. (email to use is either admin@vklmfire.co.za or firechief@vklmfire.co.za )

4. The merrits will be evalauted and assurance made that all measures to control the operation are in place and if found to be inorder;

5. The burning permit will be issued for the dates as indicated on application after the FPO is satisfied, with any additional requirements as set by the FPO.

 

 

In addition to this, the neighbourhood watch groups that have their own firefighting skid units and are eager to perform fire fighting functions are not registered as fire services and are not covered under any Fire or Disaster Management legislation or regulations, and is acting on their own initiative, and not under the authority of the Fire Department. These groups are not affiliated with the Fire Department, nor the Fire Protection Association.

 

Being a member of the neighbourhood watch is for safety and security purposes under the relevant legislation for that function, which does not include the functions of emergency response nor fire fighting, and DOES NOT provide automatic membership to the FPA. The requirements of the FPA states clearly that land owners that are paid up members of the FPA have privilages and access to FPA benefits, any available resources are for use by members only. Land owners that are not paid up members of the local FPA therefore are excluded from any such benefits and therefore will be treated as non-compliant land owners. They also cannot become members of the FPA as legislation is clear in indicating that the Land owner must become a member.

 

Therefore, in short, to have full benefits to the resources and privilages of the Delmas Fire Protection Association and compliance to legislation, the LAND OWNER/OCCUPANT must become a member, not the Neighborhood watch as an entity. They may, when all members have registered as FPA members become an administrative agent to ensure the rules of the FPA are adhered to and assist on that level, but this does not give them authoritive powers, nor permissions for the use of unauthorized Red and Green emergency lights. (On this, Section 175 and 185 apply Mutatis Mutandis and is considered as a criminal activity, that may result in the impounding of such vehicle under the relevant legislations.)

 

The Fire Department does not take or accept any resonsibility nor accountability for any damages caused by these groups (nor will the Department give such instructions unless a fire crew are also at that area). Any claims for damages to property or fencing caused by these groups must be taken up through the appropriate channels, DO NOT involve the Fire Department nor the Delmas Fire Protection Association. (For notification, any damages caused in the execution of the duties of the Fire Department during the fighting of a fire or other emergency is under the direct instruction of the Chief Fire Officer under the Fire Brigade Services Act (At 99 of 1987, as ammended)

 

Ignorance is not an excuse in the eyes of the Law

 

Kindly take note that the Delmas Fire Protection Associations' annual membership fees for 2023 is payable from 1 April 2023. Many members did not pay their membership fees for the past few years, their membership not paid since 1 April 2021 will be removed as from 31 March 2023 

 

Defaulted members who did not renew their membership fees for 2019 and 2020 have been deleted from the register and they will have to re-register and pay registration fees plus annual membership fees. Rules will be applied strictly. The members who did not pay their 2021 and 2022 memberships can still do so with their 2023 renewals

 

Follow the link for the fees and banking details.

 

The existing members can pay their fees per EFT directly, using their membership numbers or Initials and Surname as reference. Do NOT come pay at the municipality, the D-FPA is not a function from the municipality and they cannot accept payments. If you need an invoice, request this from the FPO at the email below.

 

New members can obtain the application form here. They can submit through email or in person at the FPO. If payment is made electronically, please use your Initials and Surname as on the application form in order to link them, the forms need to be submitted to the FPO directly or via email (admin@vklmfire.co.za).

 

Certificates of membership registration will be mailed to you if we have an up to date email address, or can be collected with arrangement with the FPO (Chief Fire Officer).

 

Farm and plot owners are advised that it is a requirement to have fire breaks in place, failure can cause serious financial consequences. Look at the activities page for guidelines.

 

Please feel free to browse through the pages for more information related to the Delmas Fire Protection Association as well as current news on the FPA front, the links are available at the top under the "D-FPA Sub-Menu" dropdown.

 

IMPORTANT INFORMATION

 
Community Notice:
 
 
Residents within the urban areas also need to take serious note that it is unlawful to burn, instruct to burn garden refuse without good reason why it was not put out for collection and written permission.
 
Burning garden refuse on the sidewalk or empty erven also falls under this. If found conducting such operations, the owner may be held accountable and may be issued with a fine of up to R 5 000.00 and a fire service call-out fee.
 
A firm warning, aggressiveness or arrogance from property owners will be treated as hostile and such instances will be referred to the courts without prejudice.
 
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Save the following somewhere to be reached quickly: Inform the Victor Khanye Municipal Head of Disaster Management at 083 377 3532 of any incidents that may occur due to adverse weather. Please indicate area affected, the type of incident and any damages that may have occured. (Communication may also be through SMS or Whatsapp)
 
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Remember, and this is imperative:
 
If a grassfire starts on your property and burn into another, you as owner/responsible occupant can and will be held liable for any claims and costs resulting from the fire. You can be held liable for any and all costs from response, damages, including any court judgements.
 
Please be carefull and report grassfires to the Fire Department (013 665 2939 / 087 288 0762) or the FPO / Chief Fire Officer (083 377 3532) immediately.
 
Remember, the responsibility to act quickly on discovery of a grassfire REMAINS that of the owner / occupant.
 
Negligence or failure to act may result in some serious claims or court time, and upon being found guilty charged with a fine from R 5 000 upwards plus settlements of claims.
 
 
Be responsible !!

Notice is hereby given that the FPA AGM is scheduled for 20 June 2024. Time and Venue to be confirmed

 

 

 

 

LANDOWNERS ARE LIABLE FOR LITIGATION AND/OR FINES IF FIRES SPREAD TO NEIGHBORING PROPERTIES.

 

 

 

 

Members are reminded to pay their memberships.

 

(2024 Membership fees received and processed are listed at the bottom of this page)

 

NOTICES

FIRE DANGER INDEX INFORMATION BOARD

To all visitors and members

 

This page is an information page.

For compliance, the official communication and publishing language will be English.

Unfortunaltely, due to limited space and time, we cannot accomodate translating the information.

 

Some of the official documentation of the D-FPA is however still available in English and Afrikaans on the download links provided.

 

Thank you for understanding

Frequently asked questions

 

"A neighbour burnt garden refuse on their plot and this resulted in the burning down of an entire block of grassland. The owner of the property said that the property are rented out and that he had no control or responsibility over what happened. What can we do to prevent this from happening again this year".

 

First of all, what does the National Veld- and Forest Fire Act (101/98){NVFFA} state in terms of responsibility;

1: Chapter 4 places a duty on owners to prepare and maintain firebreaks.

2: Chapter 5 places a duty on all owners to acquire equipment and have available personnel to fight fires.

 

Now lets see what the definition of an owner is according to this Act:

 

"Owner": (a) a lessee or other person who controls the land in question in terms of a contract, testamentary document, law of order or a high court"

 

Based on this, first and foremost, the owner (person in control of the land) remains responsible to ensure that firebreaks and the required fire prevention and firefighting measures are in place on the property in terms of Chapters 4 and 5 of the NVFFA to prevent a fire from spreading from the property or into such property, if the owner included into the lease agreement that the lessee must ensure such, then the lessee becomes solely the responsible "owner" as per the definition.

 

But this blade cuts both ways, if the adjacent "owner" did not ensure the compliance of chapters 4 and 5 and a fire spread into his property, a civil or loss claim may be rejected by the courts based on non-compliance on the claimant's side.

 

The best advice that can be given is that the "owners" need to discuss the matters and ensure that compliance measures is mutually put in place and that the rules in relation to burning on a property is adhered to, especially during the winter season where a fire prohibition has been proclaimed. {See the summary of rules at the bottom of this page}

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The forecasted weather can be found on the Home page for today. If required, more detailed weather information would be posted here

ANNOUNCEMENTS

General 4-day Forecast for the Victor Khanye Local Municipal area based on the ECMWF forecast model (from Windy.com)

 

 

The community and land owners are reminded that the regulations on the making of fires under the Fire Brigade Services By-Laws are strictly enforceable. 

 

Non-willingness of land owners to join the FPA will result in fire service accounts being rendered for responses to grassfires, it will work this way, each land owner on which the fire service render a service from where the fire started as well as where non-compliance was found will be issued with a fire service account without prjeduce.

 

The FPA Rules and Regulations also apply in addition thereto.

 

Within the Municipal jurisdiction it is prohibited to start any fire other than for the purpose of preparing meals without obtaining permission from the Chief Fire Officer.

 

Allowance is given for the controlled burning of garden waste, limited to not larger than one square meter at a time within a purpose made area where the fire cannot spread from and to such a manner that the smoke created is controlled and are not creating a disturbance of nuisance to neighbours.

 

The burning of any other materials (i.e. household refuse, tyres, cables, etc.) is strictly prohibited under both the fire brigade By-Laws as well as the Environmental legislation.

 

 

 

 

ARE YOUR THATCH ROOF BUILDINGS PROTECTED?

 

As part of grass fire preparedness, make sure that your thatch roof structures are treated, or measures have been put in place.

 

Now that the grassfire season is over, your responsibility does not end, if you have not treated your thatch, now is the time to start preparing for that for the next season. Also note that lightning threats will also now have a challenge.

 

Remember: Thatch roofs are HIGHLY flammable and not treating them can cause your insurance to repute your claim...

 

The Fire Department responded to thatched roof fires for the 2024 fire season: 0

 

For 2020 Grassfire season the Fire department responded to: 5

For 2021 Grassfire season the Fire department responded to: 5

For 2022 Grassfire season the Fire department responded to: 6

For 2023 Grassfire season the Fire department responded to: 4

 

Current Paid-up Members for 2024/2025

 

Name                                 Membership Certificate Number

 

C Henning                                       001/2024

K du Plessis                                     002/2024

GR van Niekerk                                003/2024

MG Taute                                        004/2024

 

BURN PERMITS ISSUED

 

Permit Number                   Area                                  Date/s approved

 

 

2024 GRASSFIRE SEASON IS LOOMING

 

Application form for D-FPA membership is available from the D-FPA Sub-Men dropdown above.

Grass Fire Preparation Management Activities

 

Start looking at your risks in terms of veld fires (remember to have a look at the tall grass on the property, especially around the boundary)

Start budgetting for equipment that needs repairs or replacements

Start acquiring chemicals for the preparation of fire breaks. REMEMBER Fire breaks are a clear path on the property border to assist in the management of veld fires and does not have to be burned, Chemical control, removing vegitation or ploughing or scraping is also forms of firebreaks.

If you intend to use mutual fire breaks with neighbours, start speaking to them to initiate the agreements.

Are you a member of the Fire Protection Association? - if not or you have not paid your member fees up to date, start planning for this as well. Renewals are payable as from 1 April.
 

Start of Preparations for 2024 Grassfire Season.

 

Have a look at the suggested activities on the Activities page or scroll down to see suggested activities in preparation for the upcoming Grass fire Season