Working on Fire had a busy 2020 Winter Fire season, with the Free State province hit the hardest, as they battled massive runaway veld fires in the latter part of the season.
Since the beginning of the 2020 Winter Fire Season, WOF Teams, consisting of more than 4000 professional wildland firefighters, were dispatched to help suppress unwanted wildfires. These courageous men and women offered assistance to partners, Fire Protection Associations (FPAs) and landowners and helped to suppress a total of 1 913 fires limiting the damage to just over 370 000 hectares that were burnt.
Kishugu Aviation provided aerial support to some of these fires including the recent Free State fires and their aircraft flew just over 715 hours in support of the ground teams during these winter months.
Fires recorded during the 2020 Winter Fire Season (per province):
• 641 fires – Free State
• 288 fires – Mpumalanga
• 270 fires – KwaZulu Natal
• 230 fires – Gauteng recorded
• 160 fires – Eastern Cape
• 155 fires – North West
• 154 fires – Limpopo
• 017 fires – Western Cape (out of season)
The Western Cape, together with the southern parts of the Eastern Cape, will officially enter the 2020 Summer Fire Season on 1 December.
Due to late rains, very dry land and high FDIs predicted, Mpumalanga has extended its fire season to include the beginning of the month of November. The rest of the Northern regions should be quieting down and teams will be able to take a breather after a season of very hard work, while also coping with the added procedures and precautions due to the novel coronavirus pandemic (COVID-19).
We thank all our Winter Fire Season teams (participants and management staff) for their perseverance and dedication towards saving lives, properties and the environment.