South Africa– Veld fires are currently the biggest threat to urban areas and the Working on Fire team in De Wildt has already fought approximately 50 fires since 1 May
This dedicated team of men and women has been established in De Wildt for the past five years and works with the De Wildt Fire Protection Association.
The Working on Fire initiative was established in conjunction with the Department of Environmental Affairs and has a twofold purpose, namely the protection of the environment as well as job creation.
WoF firefighters are recruited from marginalised communities and trained in fire awareness and education, prevention and fire suppression skills.
These young men and women form veld and forest firefighting ground crews, stationed at bases around the country to help stop the scourge of wildfire which costs the South African economy billions of rands annually.
There are currently more than 5 000 beneficiaries in the programme, 85% of whom are youth, and 29% are women (the highest level in any comparable fire service in the world).
WoF teams are allocated to established fire protection associations.