THE Umvoti Fire Protection Association (UFPA) has been working closely with Mondi, Sappi, Working on Fire (WoF), Buffalo Protection Services and the Umvoti Disaster Management to address fire awareness among schools and communities in Umvoti district believing that prevention is better than cure.One of WoF functions is to promote fire awareness - the presentation team have been trained and are experienced in conveying this message to the community. These presentations focus on general fire awareness, safety and the prevention of fire. The WoF team have completed their school visits in the area and are now concentrating on visiting the Umvoti community, where it is felt that the "door-to-door" visits are often most successful when addressing this subject among the community.The UFPA has a sniffer dog, Smirrie, who has been specially trained to track suspected arson suspects who start fires in plantations and on farms. The services of this hound is available free of charge to UFPA members. This dog is managed by Buffalo Protection Services and where possible, depending on his duties, will accompany the WoF team on their tours to the schools and the communities. The fire awareness presentation is followed by a demonstration of Smirrie and Cole (his handler) showing the hound at work, following the scent of a “arson suspect” who has hidden.Due to the drought, conditions are extremely dry and it does not take much for a fire to spread rapidly with the potential to cause severe destruction. The Umvoti Fire Protection Association once again appeals to the community to be extremely cautious and act responsibly when dealing with fire.Please report any wild fires to Golf 911 on 033 417 2911 or 076 402 7772 and they will undertake the appropriate action.