Prescribed burns will take place in Table Mountain National Park, according to SANParks


South African National Parks are expected to conduct prescribed burns under Tafelberg Road on the mid-slopes of Table Mountain and in the Lower Tokai in March/April 2022.

Ecological burns will be carried out during the natural summer to fall fire season in the fynbos. All park neighbors near the burn site have been notified of the burn.

Burns are scheduled for the latter part of the fire season, when conditions are most favorable to conduct a prescribed burn, however, actual burn dates cannot be predicted in advance as prescribed burns are only conducted only when the temperature, wind and humidity conditions are suitable for firefighting.

On the day of each burn, an announcement will be made on the Table Mountain National Park Facebook page and all residents who live nearby are asked to keep their windows closed and wash indoors to minimize any discomfort from the smoke.

Did you know?

Fynbos depends on fires every 10-15 years. According to NPTMif the fynbos does not burn often, the proteas and other shrubs will age too much and their ability to reproduce diminishes, but if the fynbos burns too often, the reseeding of the shrubs may be lost and re-sprouting species and alien species may take over. relay.

Although a number of fuel reduction burns have been carried out in the area, this will be the first prescribed burn in the selected block in Lower Tokai.

“Following a fire, reseeded fynbos species shed their seeds, and seeds of ericas, restios, proteas, daisies and other fynbos species are more likely to germinate after exposure to smoke. Performing the prescribed burns just before the onset of the rainy season allows the veldt to regenerate, as the released seeds will experience cooler conditions and receive rainfall over the following months,” explains SANParks.

“In Lower Tokai, the Cape Flats Sand Fynbos is a critically endangered type of veld, and many plants that are found in this type of veld are found nowhere else on earth. Threatened species in this area include Erica turgida (Macdonald heath), Babiana villosula (Autumn bobbejaantjie), Diastella proteoides (Flats silkypuff), Oxalis minuta (Mini sorrel), Lachnaea capitata (Lanky Stringbark) and Protea scolymocephala (Thistle sugarbush). There is old vegetation under the cable station that has not burned in recent fires Due to the surrounding young vegetation, it is expedient to burn this old vegetation to stimulate regeneration of fynbos and for infrastructure safety tourism,” adds SANParks.

Fire plays a vital role in maintaining the diversity for which the park has earned its status as part of the Cape Floral Region Protected Areas World Heritage Site.

Fire is not just a tool to maintain the rich diversity of the Fynbos biome by returning nutrients to the soil, stimulating regeneration and opening up space for seedlings and bulbs to thrive, prescribed burns in a timely manner also reduce the risk that wildfires pose to property and people. lives above all at the interface between nature and the urban.

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