Prepared for Fire Season 2022/23
The Cape Winelands District Municipality’s Fire Services, together with partners Cape Nature, the Winelands FPA, NCC, Henley Air, the Western Cape Government’s Disaster, Fire and Rescue Management and the local municipalities, hosted the annual fire season preparedness meeting in Paarl on 30 November 2022.
The Executive Mayor, Ald (Dr) Elna von Schlicht, opened the meeting by stating that the CWDM’s Fire Services is a world-class team, supported by partners who are the best at what they do. “I always feel safe when I know that the fire services are on the scene of a fire, and I always keep you in my prayers.”
The various partners shared their respective resources and strategies that are in place to ensure that they are ready for what is predicted to be a busy fire season.
“We are requesting citizens and visitors to our area to be fire aware, to not make fires outside of designated areas and, on very hot days when the temperature reaches 35ºC or more, to please refrain from braaiing, even if there are facilities at outdoor social areas. Coals can be reignited by a breeze, which in turn causes fires in surrounding brush and then turns into a wildfire,” advises the Chief Fire Officer, Wayne Josias.
The CWDM has 80 fulltime firefighters who work 12-hour shifts to ensure a 24/7/365 service. During fire season, an additional 50 fully trained reservists are appointed to assist the permanent force. The service attends to an average of 1 300 fires per fire season.
The CWDM Fire Services, CapeNature, the Winelands Fire Protection Association and other partners have expressed concern that open ground bordering farms, informal settlements and estates are sometimes poorly maintained by owners. This presents definite fire risks for several reasons, and the high fuel load presented by dense alien vegetation is often exacerbated by litter and illegal dumping.
Land and property owners should remove dead and alien vegetation from their property, especially on the verges/borders. Make sure to cut back vegetation and branches that are close to windows, glass doors and wooden decks.
The meeting culminated in a wonderful exhibition of vehicles and equipment, but by far the highlight was the captivating demonstration by the ground teams and air support.
Reg vir die Brandseisoen 2022/23
Die KWDM se Brandweerdienste het op 30 November 2022 in die Paarl ’n brandseisoen-gereedheidsvergadering met sy verskeie vennote en plaaslike munisipaliteite gehou. Die publiek word gemaan om brandbewus te wees en op dae wanneer die kwik styg, liefs nie te braai nie, selfs in aangewese areas. Daardie kole het net ’n effense briesie nodig om in ’n verwoestende veldbrand te ontaard. Eiendomseienaars word daaraan herinner om droë, digte plantegroei op oop grond te verwyder en om oorgroeisel en takke naby vensters, glasdeure en houtdekke terug te sny.