Firefighter injured in major Free State veld fire

A Working on Fire firefighter was injured on Tuesday while battling a blaze near Fouriesburg in the eastern Free State, which had been out of control since early morning.

Free State control forester Malcolm Proctor said the man was being evacuated from a mountain to a waiting ambulance on Tuesday afternoon.

“It [the fire] is still going big time in the direction of Clarens town and burning on four fronts,” Proctor said, adding that the fire had destroyed an estimated 9 000ha of veld already.

The fire started in the mountains near Fouriesburg at about 4am on Tuesday, possibly an indication of arson.

Proctor said the mountainous terrain was making it difficult to control the fire. Working on Fire had tried to bring helicopters from KwaZulu-Natal during the day, but bad weather in the mountains between the provinces had prevented this.

“We are trying to get one from Pretoria now,” he said.

Three fires were also burning in other parts of the Free State on Tuesday.

One near Senekal was burning along a 7km-long front. Another had been reported in neighbouring Marquard and a third further east in the Warden area.—Sapa

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