South Africa — The provincial disaster management and fire brigade services will be dealing with veld and forest fires more aggressively this summer.
This comes as Anton Bredell, Western Cape minister for local government, environmental affairs and development planning, launched the aerial support services at the Fisantekraal Airbase recently.
The 24 aircraft, which include a Huey helicopter, will also work in conjunction with the Fire Working Group.
During the summer months the province usually experiences an alarming rate of veld fires. According to Bredell, the main thrust of disaster management and fire brigade services would be to deploy the 24 aircraft in the areas of Porterville, Newlands, Fisantekraal, Stellenbosch, Tulbach, Bredasdorp and Eden.
The primary objective will be to respond to any potential large fire as rapidly as possible and to attack the fire in its early stages, thereby preventing it from spreading. The Huey helicopter will be used to drop teams of firefighters close to the action.
It might not be possible to prevent every fire from spreading, so the Fire Working Group includes all the stakeholders involved in veld and forest fires and has established an integrated fire management plan which covers prevention, mitigation and response.