The fires were the worst seen in the province for years. Jack Armor of the Free State Agricultural Organisation said: “In some situations, cattle ran as far as seven farms to escape the fired. Although there was no loss of life, we are aware of farmers who have suffered serious burns and we wish them a speedy recovery.” The Freedom Front Plus released a statement claiming that protesting Tokologo residents started the fire when they torched a water tank. Fires spread quickly from there. “Commercial as well as emerging farmers in the area already suffered severe losses prior to the fires due to the long drought and the current poor economic climate. These farmers will not be able to recover from the millions of rand of damage caused by the fires on their own without government aid,” said FF Plus provincial leader Jan Van Niekerk.
#WOF_News Update 2/2: Fires in Hertzhogville/Hoopstad Free State— Working on Fire (@wo_fire) October 20, 2020
With the FDI on red, the weather conditions have contributed to the fire gaining momentum. WOF teams have implemented IFM activities such as various back burns in different areas to contain and control the fire. pic.twitter.com/UTgGxzsrHx
Police spokesman Brigadier Motantsi makhele said JoJo tanks were damaged and 17 people appeared in the Hertzogville Magistrate’s Court on Tuesday on charges of public violence and malicious damage to property. “They were all granted R1,000 bail each…seven of them could not afford it and had to remain in custody pending their next court appearance on 5 November,” he said.
Look how quick this fire spreads when a mini twister and the fire come together. This was on a farm in the Free State in South Africa . pic.twitter.com/fZlS4Bi9UE— The Laymen. (@Tyrone37369398) October 21, 2020