EThekwini Mayor, Cllr Mxolisi Kaunda, has put disaster management teams on standby as temperatures have dropped because of the cold front that has already started to hit the city. In winter, the city is very susceptible to runaway fires more in informal settlements, leaving behind a trail of damage and even the loss of lives.
“Our city is home to over 500 informal settlements, and it is in these residential areas where open fires are usually made to contend with the dropping temperatures during this time of the year. The cold front has already started, and it is of paramount importance that we urge our residents to be ultra-cautious when using fires. Failure which could result to raging infernos that have become synonymous with our city in winter.
We cannot afford to have fires being left unattended because that is where our problems start. Our emergency and fire personnel have been activated to be in a position of responding with speed any where in the city when the need arises. However, the most important thing is for us to work together in preventing these fires not start in the first place” said Kaunda.
He is calling upon parents to ensure that children do not lay their hands on anything that may spark fires and smokers to dispose of cigarette buds responsibly.
According to the South African Weather Service (SAWS), temperatures are going to be between 21 to 22 degrees Celsius during the day meanwhile at night the mercury is expected to drop to between 10 and 12 degrees Celsius.
SAWS say the cold weather is expected to relent on Thursday and the public must not panic as these are normal in winter, however it is important to request the public to be mindful of the dire consequences if fires are used irresponsibly.