From November the grass dries out rapidly. The strong, dry winds and the elevated temperatures causing the grass to dry out completely. This is when the merest whiff of smoke will send any farmers heartrate into overdrive.
We spend at least three months of every year preparing for this dry season. Making and maintaining fire breaks, to try and stop fires from spreading. Servicing and checking all our fire equipment. Starting all the engines every week. Keeping a water filled fighting unit permanently on the vehicle right through the season, to improve response times to fires.
The fires usually start with one little spark, caused by either a cigarette thrown out of a car window, or a rubbish heap not properly extinguished. This spark, fanned by fierce winds will cause a fire to spread kilometres, in mere hours, destroying everything in its path. Besides the damage to property, it is usually the animals that suffer the most. Especially the tortoises and small animals.