Eco burn planned for conservation area

The eroded area on the Kenilworth Racecourse Conservation Area that is due for the controlled eco burn.

Kenilworth Racecourse Conservation Area (KRCA) management is planning an ecological burn in part of the reserve some time in March or April.

KRCA site manger Jerry Khalo says about 20 hectares will be burned over one day, and the resultant smoke will affect residents and businesses around the racecourse.

“The actual date of the burn is dependent on weather conditions,” he said.

The KRCA had applied for all necessary permits from the City, he said, but they could only be granted following public consultation.

“The purpose of the burn is for the stimulation and germination of indigenous plant seeds,” he said.

There is critically endangered Cape Flats Sand Fynbos in the reserve that relies on fire to thrive. The last burn in this section of the reserve was in 2005.

The City’s biodiversity management branch and KRCA staff and associates would do the burn, Mr Khalo said.

“Safety measures such as well-maintained fire-breaks and sufficient firefighting equipment, and crews will be in place, and fire hydrants will be tested to ensure everything is working properly before the burn.”

The fire would be extinguished at 4pm and the site monitored for possible flares-ups overnight, he said.

“Before the burn, slow-moving animals will be moved to safety. The area is not fully enclosed and fast-moving animals will be able to escape,” he said.

Any objections should be emailed to David.Sengani@capetown.gov.za at the City’s air quality management department no later than Friday February 12. Contact Mr Khalo at conservation2K@kenilworthRacing.com for more information.