Working On Fire Aviation
Trusted supplier of aerial firefighting in South Africa
Working on Fire (WOF) Aviation is a trusted supplier of aerial firefighting services to key role players within the wildland firefighting industry in South Africa.
It flies an approximate 4,000 hours and responds to an average of 300 fires annually. WOF Aviation is most renowned for providing aerial support to the South African Government’s Department of Environmental Affairs’ (DEA) Working on Fire Programme. In so doing, WOF Aviation assists with combating life destructive and unwanted wildfires during fire seasons.
What We Do
WOF Aviation partners with municipalities, landowners, conservation agencies and Fire Prevention Associations (FPAs) to provide aerial support to the WOF ground crews. Its water bomber aircraft douse flames by dropping water loads onto fire and cooling of the area. Wildland firefighters can then move in and combat the flames, which would otherwise be too hot to launch a direct attack on. WOF Aviation is proud of its operations and always puts safety first.
Since 1986 the Forest Fire Association (FFA), now known as Kishugu Group of Companies under the brand Working on Fire Aviation, has flown more than 60, 000 hours and tended to more than 9,000 fires in South Africa..
Depending on the season and client requirements, WOF Aviation operates up to 12 Huey helicopters with Bambi Buckets, 4 Air Tractor 802 fixed wing bombers, 14 spotters (Command & Control Aircraft) and 17 Aerial Support Vehicles (ASVs).
All WOF Aviation’s resources for this tasking, aircraft & pilots, are supplied by Kishugu Aviation, which holds the Air Operating Certificate. The fleet’s maintenance is carried out by a SACAA approved Aircraft Maintenance Organisation (AMO) – FFA Aviation AMO 1116.
Working on Fire Aviation uses the Cessna 182/206/210 for aerial command and control and for safety and operational command over wildfires. The Cessna observes, analyses and predicts fire behaviour, to supply all relevant parties with updated information.
It is equipped with 2 x Standard VHF Aircraft Radios and aircraft approved Technisonic Mid Band radios for communication with other aerial resources, Incident Commanders and firefighting crews on the ground.
Kishugu uses the UH-IH or “Huey” for fast deployment of helicopter attack teams to wildland fires in South Africa and for aerial fire attack. All are upgraded to aviation standards, with modifications to enhance strength and safety for the rigors of repetitive lifting
The Huey makes use of 1,000 litre Bambi Buckets to transport water to the fire line. As far as possible,
it scoops grey, unpotable water from the ocean or dams. If the water source is close, the aircraft has a very high turnaround time.
The Air Tractor (AT) 802, Single engine Air Tanker (SEAT) is a highly effective and sought-after aerial firefighting resource. It has served with distinction on the front lines of wildfires for more than 10 years.
It is a fast, maneuverable aircraft that is operationally effective and economical. The AT-802 can be programmed to discharge its 3,000 litre load in pre-set volumes and intervals, enabling the pilot to optimise water and retardant dispersal and to make precision drops on a number of critical points on a fire.
The Working on Fire (WOF) programme, funded by the Department of Environment, Forestry, and Fisheries, will be reaching a milestone of having been in existence for 17 years during the month of September.