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Winter Fire Season Officially Starts



Gauteng’s Working on Fire (WoF) Programme has officially declared the start of the fire season in inland provinces, emphasising their preparedness to address any potential emergencies.

Stephen Boyes, the WoF general manager in Gauteng, stated that they have strategically stationed 275 firefighters across 15 bases in the province to effectively combat veld fires. During the winter fire season, from June 1 to October 31, Gauteng recorded 240 fires in 2022.

This year, the excess rainfall in the country has resulted in the growth of tall, dry grass, which serves as an ideal fuel for veld and forest fires in the province. WoF firefighters are extensively trained to suppress and control such fires.

Boyes highlighted that deploying firefighters to various bases in the province aims to minimise personal and economic damages caused by uncontrolled wildfires. By collaborating with fire protection associations, landowners, and local municipalities, WoF aims to provide its partners with a rapid and highly skilled veld fire suppression service.

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In addition to their firefighting efforts, Boyes explained that the program’s success over its 20-year history is attributed to the dedication and discipline of the firefighters. These firefighters actively engage in fire prevention campaigns, particularly in communities that are most affected by veld fires.

Furthermore, WoF firefighters carry out preventive initiatives, including fuel load reduction, prescribed burning, the creation of fire breaks, and mandatory fire safety campaigns before the fire season begins.

By prioritising preparedness, prevention, and effective response strategies, the WoF Programme strives to safeguard communities and mitigate the risks associated with veld fires during the winter fire season.

Source: Winter fire season officially kicks off

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