Partnerships with Fire Protection Associations key to reduce fire risks
Roelie Schilt, the chairperson of the Heidelberg Fire Protection Association (FPA), says that partnering with the Working on Fire team in the area is benefitting more landowners.
He says the partnership has united landowners and has helped them confront fire challenges in the area as a unit.
“Last year the Working on Fire team assisted us with firebreaks and suppression and they have a fire truck which carries more litres of water and human resources simultaneously,” says Schilt.
Schilt says membership of the FPA was small before the Working on Fire team’s presence in the area but other landowners were seeing the activity of the team and that was inspiring them to join the FPA.
“As the chairperson of the FPA I struggled to entice landowners until we partnered with the WOF team. The landowners see that the team is productive, professional and disciplined,” Schilt says.
Schilt says his own fire nightmares on his farm were quelled by working with the Working on Fire team. Assistant Base Manager Phineas Mphela says that it was pleasant to work with the Fire Protection Association rather than individual landowners.
“We are able to do proper plans for production. Roelie is also helpful in getting us sites where we can do work,” he says.