Working on Fire ready for the 2023/24 fire season


Working on Fire

Working on Fire

The Western Cape is bracing itself for a challenging Summer Fire Season and the Working on Fire-Kishugu Joint Venture (WOF-Kishugu JV) is at the forefront of the battle against these wildfires and will be working tirelessly in assisting the suppression and management of the fires in the region.

As temperatures soar, WOF-Kishugu JV resources had a busy start of the fire season. On Friday alone, the Overberg District Municipality, the Provincial Disaster Management Centre (PDMC), and Cape Nature deployed the resources to suppress three (3) fires. Two Spotter Planes and a Huey, along with 34 firefighters from Grabouw, were swiftly dispatched to assist with fighting a fire in High Noon near Grabouw. Simultaneously, two spotters, two helicopters, a spotter plane, and 26 firefighters from Grabouw Forestry Support were mobilised to extinguish a fire in Kromco. The PDMC also deployed two helicopters, a spotter, an Air Tractor Bomber, and a heliteck team to combat a fire in Orchard.

This proactive approach is part of the ongoing commitment by WOF-Kishugu JV to support local authorities and communities during fire emergencies. The collaborative effort ensures a swift and coordinated response to protect lives, property, and the environment.

With resources on standby from December until the end of April, the WOF-Kishugu JV is well-prepared to respond promptly to fire suppression requests. One of its business units, Kishugu Aviation, has contributed significantly to this effort, making available 23 aerial resources, including eleven helicopters, nine Spotter Planes (Command and Control Planes), and three 802 Air-tractor Water Bombers stationed strategically across bases and airfields throughout the Western Cape.

Trevor Abrahams, Project Manager of the WOF-Kishugu JV, emphasized the increased risk brought on by climate change. Abrahams stated, “The deadly wildfires in various parts of the world have vindicated climate change scientists who have warned about the growing risks posed by global warming. South Africa, too, is not immune to these impacts.”

The WOF-Kishugu JV conducted comprehensive training for its Working on Fire Programme ground crews in October, to prepare for the heightened fire risk. Over 1000 firefighters, including Forestry Support Programme firefighters, underwent rigorous training to ensure they were mentally, physically, and emotionally prepared to tackle potential blazes.

“We urge the public to exercise vigilance and caution to prevent wildfires. It is crucial to ensure that no fire is left unattended, and open fires should be properly extinguished. The collective effort of the Working on Fire-Kishugu Joint Venture, along with public cooperation, is essential in mitigating the impact of wildfires during this challenging season,” said General Manager Antoniette Jini.

Issued by Working on Fire – Kishugu Joint Venture Communications
**Media Contact:**
Limakatso Khalianyane (Working on Fire – Kishugu JV)
Phone: 065 976 6949


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