Fire Readiness & Prevention

Wildfire Ready is about reducing the loss from wildfires through proactive actions taken to build resilience to wildfire risks. This process is often complex and time-consuming. However, our management team is available to assist our members in being Wildfire Ready through:

Preparing Your Property

Conducting a self-audit

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Consulting and being mindful of the Fire Danger Index

‘Fire-scaping’

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BURNING PERMITS

Every member that wants to conduct a prescribed burn, including the burning of stubble lands, must obtain a burning permit. It is critical to ensure that all conditions of the burning permit are adhered to before conducting a prescribed burn on your property. Burning permits are free for paid-up GCFPA members in the West Coast District Municipal Areas. Please ensure that you apply for a permit in due course with your respective fire brigade.

West Coast Fire Brigade

022 433 8700

Cape Winelands Fire Brigade

021 887 4446

Namakwa Fire Brigade

027 341 8132

Equipment

It is essential always to have the right equipment in place, to ensure that your staff is safe, and that you adhere to the various legislative requirements.

ESSENTIAL

This is required by all persons on or near a fire.

These are the minimum requirements for all farmers and their workers.

N

Leather boots

N

Leather gloves

N

Overalls, safety wear or jeans: 100% cotton

N

Bottle of drinking water

N

At night: Torch

M

NO gumboots

M

NO open shoes/plakkies

M

NO polyester/nylon

M

NO tracksuits

M

NO shorts

GOOD TO HAVE

Extras that are good to have but not required when fighting wildfires.

N

Leather safety boots

N

Long-sleeved shirt or overalls (100% cotton)

N

Warm top or wind breaker (for after & observation)

N

Welding or braai gloves

N

Safety glasses

N

Hat (100% cotton) or hard hat (with chin strap)

N

Bandannas (mouth & nose cover)

N

Head torch (at night)

N

2 litres of drinking water

N

Energy drink

N

High energy snacks

M

NO jewellery

Fire Suppression / When it is burning

West Coast Fire Brigade

022 433 8700

Cape Winelands Fire Brigade

021 887 4446

Namakwa Fire Brigade

027 341 8132

Working on Fire Dispatch

(Request for Aerial and WoF Ground Team Assistance)

060 961 4215

dispatch.porterville@wofire.co.za

Aerial Support

Fixed-wing aircrafts and a helicopter are available for aerial firefighting operations. However, these aircrafts are allocated and funded by the Western Cape Department of Disaster Management. If landowners wish to deploy these resources, they must inform the Fire Chief and fully complete a memorandum of understanding (MoU) via the Working on Fire Dispatch Centre at Porterville. The payment for the use of these resources will be for the account of the member.

Fire Behaviour

Fire behaviour is commonly defined as the manner in which fuel ignites, the development of flames, and how fires spread and exhibit other related phenomena as determined by the interaction of fuels, weather, and topography.

Fire Size-up

The fire size-up report can be used to determine the current extent of the fire and information can be shared with the control room or the incident commander, in order to dispatch resources as required and align with the extent of the fire. 

Safety

Safety zones must be determined on an ongoing basis during fire incidents in order to ensure the safety of staff and firefighting crews. This should be one of the priority actions during the operation. Personal Protective Clothing (PPC) is critical to prevent accidents during these operations.

Incident Command System

The Incident Command System is the international standardised approach to the command, control and coordination of emergency response, providing a common hierarchy within which responders from multiple agencies can be active. Members are represented on this system by our GCFPA management team, but members are welcome to provide information and participate in decision making. Communication and adherence to the ICS are of critical importance.

Mop-up

This is a particularly critical phase of fire suppression, and members should always deploy staff on extinguished fire lines to prevent flare-ups and it spreading again.

Reporting and Mapping

Fires attended by the GCFPA staff members are mapped and included in our GIS database; this will assist us in determining the current veld age distribution within the domain. These veld ages will guide future suppression operations and other actions such as strategic fire breaks.