Pilanesberg Nature Reserve fire under control… ‘for now’
The raging at the Pilanesberg Nature Reserve in North West has been brought under control - “for now”.
The reserve said on its Facebook page at about 3pm on Monday: “Fires under control for now. Areas are still burning that are unreachable.”
“So far no reports of fatalities of larger animals and no small animals either. Though we are sure some will have perished especially slow-moving creatures like tortoises‚” it added.
Park manager Johnson Maoka said earlier on Monday the fire was likely started on Saturday by a community member living nearby.
“The reserve is bordered by community members all around. One of the community members who was cleaning their yard decided to burn some rubble. The wind blew and directed the fire to the reserve.”
Maoka believes the 5‚000 to 8‚000 hectares of damaged land was largely vegetation.
He added that the blaze destroyed the Mankwe game viewing site as well as a small camp called Metsweding. The other lodges on site were not in any immediate danger.
“Yesterday (Sunday) mid-afternoon there was a lot of smoke still and I had discouraged people from coming in‚ but this morning the reserve was opened.”
TimesLIVE earlier contacted lodges on site. Most said they would evacuate guests if necessary.
The park said earlier on Facebook there was still enough food in the veld for the animals despite the fire‚ so no donations were necessary at this stage.