We eventually finished all of our firebreaks, 96km’s to be exact. Fortunately, we finished them just in time as we have been surrounded by runaway bushfires. Pilanesberg National Park, which is only a couple of kilometers away, has lost 50% of their grazing to a bushfire that came in from outside of the national park.
Securing Mankwe against fire is our most important objective in June and July to make sure the animals have adequate grazing until the rains arrive. There is also the added threat of burning down AEL Explosives Factory should a fire come into the buffer zone where the reserve is situated. This risk always adds an element of stress for our team when we are burning the fire breaks. This year was exceptionally risky as we had no volunteers or students to help and there were often strong gusty winds.