Working on Fire (WoF) Ermelo team suppress first flames with Msukaligwa Fire & Rescue Service

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WoF firefighters
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A team of about 25 Working on Fire (WoF) firefighters based in Ermelo in conjunction with the Msukaligwa Fire & Rescue Service officials, successfully contained a blaze that burned at the Camden Power Station surroundings, on Thursday, 14 June 2018

The extent of damages caused by these fires has not yet been established. An investigation is still underway to probe what sparked the flames.

“In addition to a team of firefighters, Working on Fire Aerial firefighting resources were also dispatched to assist with the blaze. These included one spotter plane and a chopper,” said Ms Lebogang Maseko, WoF provincial spokesperson.

Msukaligwa Fire & Rescue Service Fire Chief Daniel Johnstone said the fire brigade worked tirelessly to put down the flames that engulfed the power station’s surroundings.

“When we received a fire call-out at around 10:42am, we immediately dispatched three municipal firefighters, joining the WoF team, to ensuring that they minimise possible damages at the station,” said Fire Chief Johnstone.

“The fire was put down at about 15:30 in afternoon,” he said.

Johnstone added that mop-up operations were also successfully concluded on Thursday, while the team remained on sight, monitoring possible flare-ups.

“As this year’s winter fire season reaches its peak, Working on Fire firefighters, in conjunction with various Fire Protection Associations (FPAs) in Mpumalanga, remain on high alert to offer any additional firefighting support to landowners and local municipalities,” said Maseko.

We urge communities and landowners to remain vigilant and not to start any unnecessary fires. We also urge people to have a watch on the daily Fire Danger Index (FDI) warnings issued by the South African Weather Service (SAWS).

What to do when veldfire condition is forecast

  • Prohibitions of fires in the open air during periods of high fire hazard, and the establishment of fire control committees
  • To control fires, an alarm system, firefighting teams, and beaters must be organized in advance and plans prepared.

What to do during Veldfire:

  • Livestock should be moved out of grazing land to unbarred land/ploughed field for safety.
  • Water is generally not available in sufficient quantities or at adequate pressure for the control of major fires; however, sand or other loose mineral soil material can be an effective method of control.