It is the landowner’s responsibility to prepare fire breaks

It is very clearly stated in the National Veld and Forest Fire Act that it is the landowner’s responsibility to prepare fire breaks on or as close to their boundary as possible, or have agreements in place for strategic communal fire breaks. These fire breaks must be wide and long enough to reasonably stop the spread of a veld fire, may not cause soil erosion and is reasonably free of inflammable material.

We therefore recommend:

  1. The use of strategic communal fire breaks where possible (with signed agreements between all landowners).
  2. Strategic fire breaks to be minimum 20m.
  3. Tactical/property boundary belts to be minimum 10m (5m each side).
  4. Tactical belts for controlled burning minimum 3m or 3x average height of the adjoining vegetation.
  5. Where there is chance of soil erosion breaks should be mowed or brush cut with vegetation not exceeding 10cm (ankle height).
  6. Brush should be broad spread at least 3m from nearest edge of break.


The WFPA will gladly assist you with the identification of the best location for fire breaks on your property or strategic communal break for your area, as well as facilitate the signing of agreements between landowners and assisting with reliable contractors.


Failure to prepare fire breaks that leads to a run away veld fire can result in a court case. Below is the link to an article from about the SAPS having to pay out for damages to their neighbours.

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