EMERGENCY 021 887 4446


The National Veldfire Act (Act 101 of 1998)


It is the Landowner’s responsibility to do everything in his/her power to stop the spread of veldfire, by:

  • Establishing and maintaining a fire break system:
    • on his/her side of the property boundary;
    • apply for exemption of this through the FPA; OR
    • of common fire breaks away from the property boundary agreed upon with neighbours (the WFPA can assist with this);
  • ​Establishing and maintaining a fire break system that:
    • is wide enough and long enough to have a reasonable chance of stopping a veldfire;
    • does not cause soil erosion;
    • is reasonably free of flammable material;
  • Managing the fuel load on their land;
  • Having sufficient equipment, protective clothing and trained personnel to fight fires OR as prescribed;
  • Informing the Fire Brigade and all neighbours of a veldfire or prescribed burn; AND
  • Ensuring that in his/her absence responsible persons are present on or near the land to fight fires.


The Act makes provision for the establishment of a Fire Protection Association (FPA) by Landowners for the purpose of predicting, preventing, managing and extinguishing veldfires.

  • The FPA is a Voluntary Association of Landowners.
  • Only one FPA may be registered in an area.
  • Membership is compulsory for Municipalities and the owners of State land which fall within the FPA.
  • The Fire Protection Officer performs the function of the Chief Executive Officer of the FPA.
  • Two or more FPAs may enter an agreement of mutual assistance.

Opening a case for a veld fire

All veld fires where non natural causes are suspected should be reported to the South African Police Services (SAPS) as soon as possilbe to open a criminal case.

It is important to note the following:

  • “Arson” in terms of the South African law only applies to malicious ignition of buildings.
  • The FPA or any of it’s representatives (FMU or Ward leaders) cannot open the case on a landowner’s behalf.
  • It is of great advantage to have an expert opinion stating that the fire ignition was not through natural causes.
  • Take photos and cordon off the “origin” of the fire as soon as it is safe to do so.
  • Gather photos that can help pin point where and when the fire started, eg. the “smoke report” photos from WhatsApp groups.
  • You will need the SAPS case number and establish where and when the fire started for if you open a Civil case for damages against a neighbour.
  • This fire report form (download here) will assist with collating the important information.
  • Being a member of the FPA only means that you are deemed “not negligent” in terms of the National Veld and Forest Fire Act in civil proceedings until someone can prove that you were negligent under the Act.


The following SAPS CAS numbers are to be used:
Law / ORD :   101
Year :              1998
Title:                National Veld and Forest Fire Act



Download a copy of the National Veldfire Act (Act 101 of 1998) here:



Download a copy of the National Veldfire Act (Act 101 of 1998) Amendments here:


NVA Table of Offences by Type

NVA Table of Penalties


On this page you will find:

  • Important Documents
  • Protecting your Property
  • Preparing Firebreaks
  • PPE (Personal Protective Equipment)
  • Equipment
  • Training

Protecting your property

For more guidelines and tips on protecting your home and property from veldfires please see the FPA rules and the Self-checklist for FPA Compliance and Fire Preparednes

Important Documents

  1. WFPA rulesClick here to download
  2. Landowners’ Veldfire Management Year PlannerClick here to download
  3. Fire Preparedness and FPA Compliance ChecklistClick here to download
  4. Update of Information FormClick here to go to Google Form
  5. Firebreak Agreement
    1. ​English  Click here to download
    2. Afrikaans  Click here to download

Fire Brigade Vehicle Access

  • 4m road width
  • 10m road width where 90 degree turn is required
  • 25m turning circle
  • 4.5m tall clearance
  • Person available to unlock gates, and disable electric fences and gates
  • Preferably more than one way in and out (river crossings!!)

WATCH OUT for anchor ropes in orchards & vineyards and from Eskom & Telkom poles!!

Check Protect Survive (TM)

Vulcan Wildfire Management is one of our recommended service providers. FPA members get preferential rates.

Visit their website www.vulcanwildfire.co.za for:

  • Information on Check Protect Survive (TM)
  • Assessments and Integrated Fire Management Plans for properties



  • Report a Fire
  • Fire Brigade Services
  • Responding to Assist with Firefighting
  • Communications
  • Mop-up & Observation
  • Food & Donations
  • Injuries & First Aid
  • Emergency “Grab Bag”
  • Aerial Support & Insurance paid Fire Suppression
  • Actions After the Fire



Report ALL veldfires to Cape Winelands District Fire Services on 021 887 4446

  1. Report fire to Cape Winelands District Fire Services on 0218874446;
  2. Notify all neighbours;
  3. Report fire on your local Fire WhatsApp group and/or Emergency Radio Channel;
  4. Members must fight the fire; offer assistance, workers and equipment to control the fire as soon as possible;
  5. Open relevant access gates and disable electric fences;
  6. If necessary place someone to give directions to fire and water filling points, and to control traffic;
  7. Be aware of current and predicted weather and other factors affecting the fire behaviour to prepare for adequate precautions and actions.
  8. Once the fire services arrive as an affected landowner make sure to talk regularly to the Incident Commander and give him your contact number.




These resources can very quickly become stretched when there are multiple incidents at the same time!!

Local Municipality Fire & Rescue
In charge of structural fires mostly in town limits and rescue at car accidents

Cape Winelands District Fire Services
In charge of veld fires and HazMat. Will take position of Incident Commander on arrival.


  1. Protect life
  2. Protect structures
  3. Protect livelihoods
  4. Protect veld




Landowners are responsible for the safety of all Family, Friends, Neighbours and Contractors they request and/or allow to assist them to fight the fire.


  1. Please NO spectators! This is a safety concern as they block roads and turning points, and often are neither dressed, equipped or trained for firefighting.
  2. Equipment: Ensure all your equipment is working, all required equipment is secured to vehicle and water tanks are full.
  3. PPE: Ensure you and all responding with you are wearing PPE (minimum long jeans or overall pants, leather boots, cotton shirt, gloves, drinking water). Other good to haves are torches at night, goggles, mouth & nose cover, hat or hardhat. Look here under PPE for more good to haves.
  4. Report to IC: On arrival report to person in charge of fire (Incident Commander), giving him/her your name, contact number and number of persons with you.
  5. Driving and Parking: Drive without breaking traffic laws and ensuring the safety of all road users. Park so that large fire trucks can still pass and turn.
  6. Communications: Ensure you have communications with your fellow landowners and that at least 1 of them has direct communication with the Incident Commander or your assigned supervisor.
  7. Lookouts: Set up lookouts for spot fires and flare ups.
  8. SAFETY: Keep the safety of yourself and your team in mind at all times!



  1. IC: if you are an affected landowner/manager, make sure the IC has your name and contact number and you have his/her’s. Check in regularly to discuss fire status, strategies and tactics.
  2. Supervisor (IC or Division Supervisor): report to regularly with any updates on your section, your position and number of firefighters under your command.
  3. FMU/Ward leader: if at the fire check in and out with him/her.
  4. Other responding landowners: keep in regular contact by using local fire radio channel or WhatsApp group
  5. Injuries & accidents: need to be reported to IC immediately
  6. When leaving fire: report to IC or superior



Mop-up is the most important part of firefighting!!! If not done properly you will be back in the next few days to do it all over again. Landowners need to please take responsibility for this as Fire Services need to be released to other sections of the fire or other incidents.


  1. The scene of the fire may not be left unattended until the FPO or designated person/FPA Manager/FMU Leader/Fire Services is satisfied;
  2. Mop-up should be done during and directly after firefighting. This is the securing of a fire perimeter of 10m by:
    1. smouldering material is moved further into burnt area or extinguished (cooled down with water or smothered with sand);
    2. any bushes and small trees still remaining in the 10m are cut down and moved further into the burnt area;
    3. on hillsides where rolling material could ignite unburnt fuel below small trenches are dug;
  3. Set up regular patrols. These should only end when all sections of the burnt area are cold (no less than 48 hours);
    1. have quick response firefighting resources on standby to attend to any flare ups;
    2. check weather report for changes in wind direction or increase in wind speeds and increase patrols then;
  4. Regular patrols should be more often and for longer than 48 hours where:
    1. below surface fires may have occurred e.g. in dense litter or marshy ground;
    2. tree stumps may continue to smoulder.


  • All injuries requiring more than first aid treatment must be reported to the Incident Commander immediately.
  • Always have a first aid kit on hand.

In your first aid kit it is good to have extra treatment supplies for:

  1. Eyes (eye drops)
  2. Burns
  3. General wound care
  4. Dehydration
  5. Medication for known conditions and allergies for persons in firefighting team


  • Fire Services, other Agencies and contract teams have budget and prior arrangements for food and refreshments, and therefore donations are a luxury not a necessity.
    1. Please speak to the Logistics Section Chief or IC before making a donation of perishable food for quantity and delivery time to allow for planning that all fire-fighters are fed, to ensure food safety is maintained and to prevent wastage.
  • Landowners are in charge of providing / arranging drinking water and food for their staff.
    1. Please speak to the FPA Ward or FMU leader if you wish to assist with this.
  • Please consider food safety at all times!
    1. It is often hours without refrigeration before food can get to firefighters.
    2. It is often not practical, safe or sometimes possible to drive food out to fire-fighters, meaning food packs sit in hot vehicles or backpacks for many hours till needed.
    3. Therefore non-perishable food items are preferred.
  • Good rations for firefighters are:
    1. 500ml or 1Liter Water bottles
    2. Energade, Powerade or similar
    3. High energy snacks (trail mix, peanuts & raisins, biscuits, energy bars, biltong)
    4. Canned foods (baked beans, corned beef, tuna, spaghetti and meat balls, creamed sweetcorn, etc)
    5. Ice cold cooldrinks and chocolates are always a treat for fire-fighters coming off a fire
    6. And no one will say no to a cup of coffee


  • Pack the following:
    • ID’s, Passports & Birth Certificates
    • Insurance Papers
    • Policies & Personal Documents
    • Clothing for 1 week
    • Toiletries
    • Medication
    • Pet Food & leashes (if applicable)
    • Memories – Pictures, hard drives, family keepsakes.
    • Sentimental Items – Jewellery & Photo Albums.
    • Phone Chargers
    • Sleeping Bags
    • Non perishable Foods
    • Drinking Water
    • Fire Arms (if applicable)

    Pre- arrange a travel plan & potential accommodation with family or friends.
    Remember, time is of essence. Plan well so that you are not caught unprepared in a mass emergency evacuation.
    It is also advisable to ensure that trustworthy persons or institutions, have copies of your “Life Documents” off-site.  If you have time to photograph the interior & exterior of your residence for insurance purposes it will make it easier afterwards.


  • WFPA aerial resources available for private use.
    • Available to FPA members on a 2nd call basis.  First call basis is reserved for the Insurance Consortium, managed by the WFPA manager as Incident Commander.
    • Please discuss with Incident Commander first.
      • All aircraft have to be controlled through the Incident Commander.
      • He will advise you on the availability and effectiveness.
      • Aerial firefighting is most effective during initial attack while the fire is small.
      • Ground teams need to work with the aircraft to make aerial firefighting effective.
      • The section to be bombed needs to be considered in relation to the rest of the fire, terrain and vegetation.
      • The Incident Commander may move any firefighting resource to an area of higher priority.
    • Aerial firefighting is a costly undertaking!
    • Make sure you understand the T&Cs of your insurance policy.
  • Landowner arranged firefighting teams
    • Must report to the Incident Commander on arrival
    • Same communications protocol as for all Landowners.


  • All firefighting equipment must be checked and serviced as required to ensure full serviceability;
  • Report the fire to the SAPS and your insurance company;
    1. collect as much information as possible as to the “origin” of the fire (when, where, how);
    2. see section on opening a case for a veld fire here;
    3. this fire report form (download here) will assist you to collate the most important information;
  • The FPO or designated person/FPA Manager may conduct a fire debrief when necessary to discuss the actions during the fire especially where the fire spread across properties. Members should make every effort to attend post mortems of fires that they were involved in or were threatened by.