WORKING on Fire has 579 firefighters in Mpumalanga who are ready to help fight fires this season.

But despite their campaigns, they keep on having to battle unnecessary incidents.

Spokeswoman Amanda Mthembu said 43 fires were recorded in the province since the season started, with an estimated 1 539,8 hectares burnt.

Mthembu said many fires had broken out in Warburton. “That team has been hardest hit, battling ongoing fires.

“We urge residents to be careful as the fire season is at its peak and not to start unnecessary fires, particularly during these dry winter days.”

Mthembu called on land owners to contact the organisation so they could advise them on how to burn fire breaks.

Safety measures include planned burning, fuel load reduction, community fire awareness, early detection and plans to contain fires.

This month, five fires have been recorded so far, with many hectares destroyed after a recent fire at Nelshoogte.