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UWC applies for permit for prescribed burn in Cape Flats Nature Reserve

The portion of the Cape Flats Nature Reserve has not been burned in nearly 40 years, resulting in bush encroachment, said the University of the Western Cape.

The prescribed burn area marked out. Picture: Supplied

CAPE TOWN – The University of the Western Cape (UWC) has applied for a burning permit from the City of Cape Town’s air quality management unit and City Fire and Rescue Services.

The university requires the permit in order to move ahead with its plans to burn part of the university’s Cape Flats Nature Reserve vegetation.

“Only a small section of the reserve will be burnt. This section has not burnt in nearly 40 years and bush encroachment slowly happened over the years. It now unfortunately poses a safety risk to life, and infrastructure of UWC and the surrounding community should a wildfire occur.

“A controlled burn will minimise future wildfire risks,” said UWC.

It added the burning exercise would take place in April, depending on weather conditions.

The ecological burning will be conducted by Cape Peninsula Fire Protection Association.

The association’s spokesperson, Pierre Mouski, said controlled fires were meant to conserve and re-establish endangered plant species.

“Obviously there will be professional fire fighters on the scene and so forth, so it’s a lot better to conduct a prescribed burn under controlled conditions instead of a wildfire. When there’s a wildfire there’s no control,” said Mouski.

UWC said the burning exercise would not take place on a weekend or public holiday.

Residents in Belhar and Bellville have been given seven days to voice raise any concerns.



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