Be Wildfire Ready
Maremmana Estate is situated within a Wildland Urban Interface (WUI) Intermix environment that is
naturally prone to wildfire ignition and spread. Fire is a real risk in the Overberg, especially during the hot dry summer months. The Overberg Fire Season that runs 1 December until 30 April.
The estate undertakes regular preventive maintenance practices to minimize the risk for all. However, all homeowners and residents will need to take action and responsibility for their own wildfire risks and preparing their homes to be Wildfire Ready.
Maremmana is a member of the Greater Overberg Fire Protection Association (GoFPA) which provides ground and aerial support to members in event of fire. GoFPA is excellent at maintaining daily updates on its social media channels for all fires in the Overberg. Please follow their channels which Maremmana will also repost when relevant to Bot River and the estate.
Wildfires are an extremely dangerous and dynamic force of nature and must be approached with caution. Leave the firefighting to the professionals, but ensure you are wildfire ready. Your safety is the top priority.
1. Take preventive measures to protect your property which in turn will assist in protecting your neighbours. Focus on the Home Ignition Zone being the immediate 30m surrounding your house.
a. Regularly clear your gutters and roof corners to keep them clear of leaf litter and pine needles
b. Clear tree branches to 3m from the house and roof. Cut low hanging tree branches to prevent it becoming a ladder fuel.
c. Keep vegetation thinned out and trimmed around your house
d. Make use of fire resistant plants such as succulents in your Home Ignition Zone
e. Clear beneath any decks and avoid build-up of fuels against walls
f. Store flammable material like wood piles away from your home.
g. Ensure there are no open compost heaps which can spontaneously combust.
2. Update replacement values and maintain up to date with your annual home insurance policy.
3. Alert a neighbour or a Trustee if you are going away or if your house will be empty over fire season, so that the best course of action can be taken to protect your property if threatened by a wildfire.
4. Save the local firefighting authority contact details to your phone.
Overberg Fire & Rescue 24-Hour
028 425 1690
Greater Overberg Fire Protection Association
063 690 7899
5. Be familiar with the terrain. Know where your nearest fire hydrant is located on the estate.
6. Be familiar with the Maremmana Evacuation Plan.
7. Monitor high risk fire days in fire season with the Fire Danger Index.
8. Refrain from any open braai or using any weed-eater or other activity that may cause sparks on any high-risk RED day.
The Fire Danger Index (FDI) predicts how a fire would behave if one started. This colour coded rating is your trigger to prepare and act. During peak fire season, you will notice greater awareness of the Fire Danger Index as published by various fire awareness groups and municipalities.
What to Do In Event of a Wildfire
1. Raise the alarm with Fire Authorities and other homeowners.
2. Wait for instruction.
3. Stay alert. Keep calm. Think clearly. Act decisively. Do not panic.
4. Protect your property. Do not get distracted by the fire. Keep watch for embers on your property! Keep pets indoors and all windows closed.
5. Prepare for evacuation with a go-to bag packed in your vehicle parked FACING the escape route (including documents and information that you simply cannot afford to lose).
6. Wait for further instruction or updates from the MHOA Fire Liaison or Emergency Services.
7. Stay alert. Keep calm. Think clearly. Act decisively. Do not panic.
8. Lock up your property before you evacuate.
9. Follow the evacuation instruction on which exit path to take.
10. Do not return to the estate until it has been deemed safe to do so by fire authorities.
11. Once the fire has been extinguished, mop-up operations can begin. The first 24-72 hours are crucial to ensure fires do not flare up again. Homeowners are responsible for the mop-up operations on their properties and estate staff will be on hand to monitor the common area.
Supporting our firefighters
In the event that there is a fire in or near the Estate, there is a normal tendency to want to support those on the frontline saving our lives and property. However often we misunderstand the requirement being for food, beverages and other perishable goods.
GoFPA recommends non-perishable goods rather than sandwiches and open containers. Useful items to support the firefighters include: instant coffee, unopened boxes of long life milk, rusks, flasks with boiling water, individual unopened bottles of water, unopened packets of biltong, energy bars and trail mix, tinned foods, cans of soft drink, sun block, eye drops and cellphone airtime so firefighters can let their families know they are safe.
Be Wildfire Aware & Ready!
Report all fires or any smoke immediately to Overberg Fire and Rescue 24/7 Control Centre
Telephone 028 425 1690.