Working on Fire says it is ready for Free State winter blazes

2016-05-27 17:29
A Working on Fire Huey helicopter.

A Working on Fire Huey helicopter. (Liza van Deventer, Netwerk24)

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Bloemfontein – More than 600 firefighters in the Free State are ready to fight veld fires during the winter season, Working on Fire (WoF) said on Friday.  

"As a result of the current drought experienced throughout the country, we do expect a very difficult winter fire season... but we firmly believe we will be able to respond quickly in rendering a highly skilled veld fire suppression service," said provincial spokesperson Limakatso Khalianyane.  

Khalianyane said they had completed camps in the Northern Provinces to ensure that their firefighters were fit and ready for the season.  

Last year, thousands of hectares of communal grazing land were destroyed by runaway veld fires in the Free State.   

"Since late last year, we have been recruiting more firefighters to increase our capacity on the ground, so that we can mobilise in or out of the province should there be an emergency," she said.  

She added that they had also established a national deployment team which could assist farmers and land owners anywhere in the country.  

"We urge land owners, in particular, to get into contact with us so that we can assist with the development of clear integrated fire management services which includes, amongst others, prescribed burning, fuel load reduction, community fire awareness, early detection and fire suppression plans.

"We will do presentations that will highlight the dangers of fires and how to reduce fire risks in communities," she said.

Read more on:    working on fire  |  bloemfontein  |  fires

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