The Nuwejaars Wetland Special Management Area and partners undertook a management burn on the SMA this past week, burning around 410 hectares of limestone fynbos. The fynbos was between 25 and and 30 years old, and therefore in need of a prescribed burn. Experts suggest fynbos should be burnt around every 15 years, depending on the type of fynbos. Much of the fynbos was also infested with invasive alien plants.

Livestock and bee hives were moved prior to the fire. And invasive alien plant management will now be prioritised subsequent to the fire.

Fire management is seen as an essential tool in good fynbos management. Fire stimulates new growth of fynbos plants, to ensure a healthy fynbos ecosystem. However, fires should also not burn too frequently, in turn destroying fynbos seed banks. Fire is also considered a tool to manage invasive alien plants – one of the biggest threats to the biodiversity on the Agulhas Plain.

From the SMA, a special thanks to the Greater Overberg Fire Protection Association and the Working on Fire teams, for their help and the professionalism they showed.

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