The Department of Forestry, Fisheries and the Environment’s Working on Fire (WoF) in Limpopo has officially kick-started preparations for the winter fire season by training firefighters through the yellow card training camp at BET Joshua Camping, located in Leewkui, Polokwane.
The programme is designed to prepare firefighters mentally and physically. At least 653 firefighters stationed at 25 Bases in the province will partake in the training, taking turns in groups per camp.
WoF Provincial spokesperson Ofentse Letswalo said the province has experienced heavy rains and excessive heat and this influenced the growth of fuel, which will lead to increased wildfires compared to the previous years.
“The winter fire season commences from June to October, annually. However, WoF Limpopo has thus far dispatched two ground teams for the suppression of the wildfires,” Letswalo said.
The firefighters attached to the WoF will, during the yellow card training camp, be assessed in specialised firefighting techniques including firebreaks and will also pass through the firewall. In addition to those drills, they will be assessed on theoretical knowledge, snake identification and awareness.
WoF currently employs more than 5 000 young men and women, who have been fully trained as veld firefighters and are stationed in more than 200 bases throughout South Africa.