South Africa — The wildland and forest fire fighters, from Gauteng, North West Province, Free State and Limpopo, formed into Hotshot teams of 22 to 25 member crews scattered across the provinces, are preparing for the impending winter wildfire season which starts in the north and east of South Africa on June 1.
At the training camp they will also compete for recognition as their provinces top teams. They will later be joined by top WoF Hotshot teams from the Western Cape, Eastern Cape, KwaZulu Natal and Mpumalanga who will also be on hand to assist at the conference.
Before the conference draws to a close, delegates will be able to see the Hotshot teams in action in a demonstration of South Africas wildland fire fighting expertise. There will also be an aerial fire fighting display by pilots from FFA Aviation, part of the FFA group which implements the WoF programme on behalf of the South African Government.
At the end of the conference all the WoF wildland and forest fire fighters will participate in a mass passing out parade especially organised for the Wildfire Conference.
WoF Programme Manager Fred Mokgope, said the safety and survival training was part of WoFs pre-season skills development and training. The course is being held close to Sun City to allow conference delegates a glimpse into the workings of the WoF Programme.
These training camps show the Working on Fire Programme at its best, said Mokgope, the wildland and forest fire fighters will also take part in a 36km route march through the area which is always a proud display of the discipline and commitment of our teams.
The Working on Fire Programme is a job creation initiative which provides skills training for predominantly previously unemployed rural people.