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Controlled ecological burn at Rondevlei Nature Reserve

18 Mar 2010 Posted by in Uncategorized | Comments

MEDIA RELEASE
NO. 197 / 2010
17 MARCH 2010

The management of the Rondevlei Nature Reserve would like to alert residents in its vicinity that they will be conducting a controlled burn on a portion of the eastern boundary of the reserve, adjacent to Peninsula Road, Zeekoevlei.

The burning operation is scheduled for either the end of March or the beginning of April 2010, dependent on favourable weather conditions for conducting a safe controlled burn. It will take place from either 23 to 26 March, 29 to 31 or 06 to 09 April.

The required burning permit has been obtained from both the City of Cape Town Health Department’s Air Pollution Control Section as well as its Fire and Rescue Services and is valid from 1 February 2010 until 30 April 2010.

Residents in homes neighbouring the reserve are advised to close all windows and not hang out any laundry while the burning is underway, to avoid the resultant smoke. Notices indicating the proposed burn dates will be distributed to residents neighbouring the reserve by way of post-box drops.

Rondevlei Nature Reserve is one of over 30 nature reserves and natural areas managed by the City and it supports two threatened vegetation types, namely Strandveld and Cape Flats Sand Fynbos. Cape Flats Sand Fynbos is found nowhere else in the world, with only 1% of the isolated remnants on the Cape Flats remaining under conservation.

Fire is vital to the healthy functioning of all fynbos eco-systems. It is necessary for the ongoing survival of fynbos plant species as it assists with the removal of senescent vegetation in order to stimulate new plant growth, promote the germination of seedlings and the emergence of geophytes, and in turn enhance plant diversity by opening up space for the establishment of a variety of different species.

Rondevlei Nature Reserve is surrounded by urban development. As a result, naturally occurring fires no longer spread through the area and uncontrolled, man-made fires entering from the reserve boundaries pose a threat to surrounding developments and the rest of the reserve. Controlled ecological burns on small sections of the reserve are therefore necessary once the vegetation reaches suitable maturity. It is an important conservation management tool and reduces the available fuel load of old vegetation, thus decreasing the risk of uncontrolled wild fires developing.

Suitable fire-breaks are being prepared on the proposed burn site to ensure that the controlled burn is conducted safely, within its designated boundaries.

For any queries or comments please contact Air Pollution Control at 021 590 1419 or the reserve manager at 021 706 2404.

END

ISSUED BY:
COMMUNICATION DEPARTMENT
CITY OF CAPE TOWN

MEDIA QUERIES:
TAMARYN ALLAN
RESERVE MANAGER: RONDEVLEI NATURE RESERVE, ENVIRONMENTAL RESOURCE MANAGEMENT DEPARTMENT
TEL: 021 706 2404

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