January 2019 turned out to be a very busy month for wildland firefighting entities in the Western Cape. It started with the Betty’s Bay fire which was ignited by a flare 5 minutes past midnight on new-year’s.
That initial fire, along with multiple other fires that popped up in the Overstrand, went on for over two weeks. This was followed by extensive mop-up operations.
Close to 500 WOF firefighters, including 100 firefighters from the Free State, multiple WOF Drivers, as well as a fleet of Aerial Firefighting Aircraft and pilots assisted local fire authorities and CapeNature in containing this blaze.
This extended, multi-agency operation included, among other, resources from the Overstrand Municipality, the Overberg District Municipality, the Greater Overberg FPA, the City of Cape Town, NCC Environmental Services, Volunteer Wildfire Services, Cape Winelands and CapeNature.
At the same time, as well as afterwards and throughout January, WOF’s resources were engaged in fires at Signal Hill, Bloemendaalz, Lemoenkloof, Ganzekraal, Kloofnek, Botriver, Van der Stell Pass and Durbanville.
A fire at Lion’s Head was also very prominent and numerous bomber aircraft laboured to keep the flames away from the wildland/urban interface.
A great, big thank you to every WOF firefighter, dispatcher, driver, pilot, flying crewmen, storemen and women, provincial and management employees and aviation operational and aircraft maintenance engineers who passionately went those extra miles.
You really showed off our values of Accountability, Teamwork, Excellence, Adaptability and Making a Difference. We continue to be proud of you.