I would like to urgently bring to your attention the fact that we are all going to have to prepare far better for the coming 2017/18 fire season.
Without stating the obvious there is a CRITICAL shortage of water and the longer term outlook is not very promising, with the El Nino effect still gripping our continent, we are going to have less than normal rainfall and generally warmer winter temperatures.
This means that we are going to begin the next season with less water in our dams, than the same time last year.
We are then all going to have to really consciously make a concerted effort to do even more than normal.
Some areas we should address are as follows:-
Rapid reporting to Cape Winelands District Fire Services control room.
Quick responsefrom landowners and neighbours to prevent any ignitions escalating into large fires. Initial Attack to be over emphasisedwith the response beingrather too much resources than too little.
Ensureall equipmentis ingood working condition.
That infrastructure is “fire proofed”.
Sufficient trained and equipped personnel are available (especially outside normal working hours).
The focus will have to be on ground teams as opposed to aerial support as suitable water sources may be far and few between.
So in summary I would appeal to all members to make a concerted effort to prepare for the coming season, this should also include trying to actively improve our memberships. If each current member can convince ONE new landowner to join, we effectively double our membership.
Feel free to contact us with any issues or even ideas on how we can become better prepared for the coming season and beyond.
Protecting buildings from wildfires explained in images
Some images from the Knysna Fire (credit Southern Cape FPA)
For more infromation please contact the WFPA.
Why you should sign firebreak agreements with your neighbours
12(1) Every owner on whose land a veldfire may start or bum or from whose land it may spread must prepare and maintain a firebreak on his or her side of the boundary between his or her land and any adjoining land. National Veld and Forest Fire Act (NVFFA)
Landowners therefore only have the following options:
1. Prepare firebreaks on all property boundaries;
2. Apply for exemption under the NVFFA (a lenghthy complex process);
3. Sign firebreak agreements with neighbours, mutually agreeing to move and prepare the firebreaks away from the boundaries using for example existing roads; OR
4. Face the consequences of negligence. (NVFFA penalty is fine, prison up to 1 year or both)
The WFPA has put a template together for how a firebreak agreement between neighbours can look. Click here to download.
It may in some cases be easiest to as a collective of landowners sign one firebreak agreement. Click here to download the template.
Tip: As the Tulbagh-Wolseley Fire Management Unit is proving, the FPA Ward level is a good place to discuss and map the placement of these breaks, especially the stratigic breaks at the foot of the mountains. It remains however every landowner’s respnsibility to ensure the required agreements are prepared and signed with his or her neighbours.
1. Basic Firefighting Forest and Veld fires – 2 Days R860 incl VAT (10-15 persons, max 20)
2. Initial Attack Fireboss – 3 Days R2050 incl VAT (6-12 persons) – includes more fire behaviour and planning than IC Type 5. Suited for managers with fire experience only!!
3. Control Burn – 3 Days R1400 incl VAT (10-20 persons) – suited for managers with fire experience only!!
4. Introduction to Incident Command systems – 1 day (free from Provincial Disaster Management)
For more details please see the website.
We currently have the following dates for basic training (places are still available):
Drakenstein FMU 14-15 August
Stellenbosch FMU 16-17 August
Please RSVP even if the following dates do not suit or you want to do one of the other courses. If there is enough interest I will arrange more courses. I will also not set dates for the other courses unless there is enough interest.
Have your contact details or contact person/s changed?
Please fill in this form as soon as possible. This year we have created a Google form for fast and easy submission, however we also have the form in PDF format for those preferring to print and return. Click here to go to the Google form Click here to download PDF
Report ALL veld fires to Cape Winelands District Fire Services on 0218874446