Now is the time to be extremely vigilant. As a landowner, someone must be present on your farm at all times. Quick action is vital – and the first hour of fire-fighting is the most important.
SUPPORT the #firefighters battling the Overberg Fires
What you need to know this fire season 2020/21:
Landowners in the Overberg have access to operational vehicles and Working on Fire teams during the fire season.
Aerial resources will also be based in the Overberg between December and April. They are used in rapid initial attack. For more on our aerial resources, costs and the required assistance form, click here.
Remember: A responsible person must be present on or nearby your farm throughout the festive season. Ensure your neighbour also knows of your movements. And if a fire starts, contact the fire department immediately.
Fire-fighting during the Covid-19 pandemic
There are additional steps you must take to ensure you and your team remain safe when fighting fire during this pandemic. Read more on what you need to do here.
WELCOME TO THE HOME OF THE
GREATER OVERBERG FIRE PROTECTION ASSOCIATION
registered Fire Protection Association of the Overberg
GO fire prevention
The Greater Overberg Fire Protection Association (goFPA) helps land users predict, prevent, manage and extinguish wildfires. Wildfires move through landscapes – destroying property, livelihoods, biodiversity and sometimes even lives.
It’s our job to help you.
During the fire season, we help you to be ready should a wildfire start. It’s about protecting lives, infrastructure, and where possible, our landscapes and livelihoods.
And during the winter months, we prepare for fire season. That means working with our members to assess wildfire risks, and then find ways to reduce the risks through fire breaks, management plans, reduction of fuel loads, training and more.
All the while we remain on high alert: it’s still quite dry in the Overberg, and fires remain a threat, even in these winter months.
22 January 2021
- Bredasdorp 45% 45%
- Caledon 70% 70%
- Gansbaai 56% 56%
- Grabouw 54% 54%
- Hermanus 56% 56%
- Kleinmond 47% 47%
- Swellendam 73% 73%
- Villiersdorp 72% 72%
See the 3-day SAWS weather forecast for Grabouw, Hermanus, Cape Agulhas and Swellendam, including the Fire Danger Index per day here:
Wildfires in the Overberg
If any fires flare up in the Overberg, we’ll find out about it soon, and let you know. We constantly update our Facebook page – so check our feed here for the latest fire info. You can let us know if you spot any wildfires – phone us, or message us on social media and we’ll pick up on it.
“There’s so much knowledge across the landscape on how to fight wildfires. And no one knows the land better than a landowner. So as the goFPA, we work with these existing strengths, to support integrated fire management and coordination.”
Louise Wessels, Manager; Greater Overberg Fire Protection Association
The goFPA helps land users to practice Integrated Fire Management on their land. Through the goFPA, landowners in the Overberg, at the tip of Africa, can now work strategically with partners to better prevent wildfire, and react quicker and more effectively to suppress wildfire.
The goFPA operates across the Overberg area in the Western Cape of South Africa, currently covering more than 660,000 hectares (about 60% of the district).
WHAT WE DO
The Greater Overberg Fire Protection Association actively works to prevent and control wildfires during fire season, over the hot summer months. A lot of our work takes place before the fire season even starts. We help land users in the Overberg to meet their legal requirements. We provide training to land users and their teams and we facilitate fire management planning, like helping with firebreak planning and the signing of agreements between neighbours. All of this forms part of our Integrated Fire Management assistance.
BECOME A goFPA MEMBER
Land users sign up to the goFPA voluntarily. Signing up is easy.
Members pay an annual fee determined by the size of the property which is used to enhance legal compliance and integrated fire management activities.
HOW CLIMATE CHANGE WILL IMPACT
Globally, 2016 was the warmest year on record. That was followed by 2015 and 2017 respectively.
And now 2018 is on course to reach the same levels as the past four years.
Experts believe temperatures may already have passed levels that human civilization has ever experienced before.
The Overberg, the area at the southernmost tip of Africa, won’t escape this trend. On the contrary, our region can expect warmer temperatures, more winter droughts, and more heavy rainfall in April and September.
WHAT’S HAPPENING IN OUR WORLD
During a high-stress situation, such as a wildfire closing in on your home, panicked pets rarely do what you want them to do. That’s why you should prepare for this eventuality BEFORE it becomes a reality. Bredasdorp Animal Hospital’s Dr Hensie Lategan
What can you do to make your home as safe as possible against a potential wildfire? Home owners have learnt valuable lessons from the 2017 Knysna fires. And these lessons are now guiding fire management in South Africa. As a home owner
This is surely one of the most difficult and stressful events in a person’s life: It’s time to evacuate your home, as a wildfire moves closer. This is a time of great stress – and mistakes can be made as a result. According to the Overstrand Municipality’s Fire Chief, Lester Smith, in an event like this
At EVERY fire you participate in fighting, PLEASE bear this acronym in mind: LCES. It’ll help you to stay safe. It’s one of the most important defence strategies against an unpredictable wildfire. LCES must be updated and amended as the fire’s behaviour and movements change.
Fire season is upon us in the Western Cape, including the Overberg District. But it’s not too late to still use this time to prepare your farm as well as you can against the threats of wildfires. Wildfires can start at any place and at any time.
Overberg grain farmers face huge potential economic losses should a wildfire pass through their farm before their grain is harvested. Fires on grainlands burn notoriously quickly and, given the way they burn, they can create several lines that can trap those
16-22 March: Water Week
Mid April: End of Fire Feason
22 April: Climate Action (Earth Day)
goFPA AGM – DATE TO BE CONFIRMED
4 May: International Firefighter’s Day
9-11 Sep: NAMPO CAPE
August: WOMEN’S MONTH
October: FIRE PREVENTION MONTH
9 Oct: Fire Prevention Day
1 Dec: FIRESEASON OPEN
SUPPORT #FIREFIGHTERS BATTLING
THE OVERBERG FIRES.
All funds raised will SUPPORT fire-fighters battling the overwhelming Overberg fires. ALL monies raised will be: – used for making the fire lines more bearable, including; – cellphone airtime to talk to their families at home; – foodstuff like ice to keep their drinks cold, that warm meal to supplement their ration packs, and any other essentials. goFPA is a registered PBO.
You can get involved by providing goods to energise our fire-fighters. Here’s a list of non-perishable items you can drop off – that help sustain our fire-fighters working hard to protect our homes and nature
Donations are made through the secure PayFast system.
reduction | readiness | response | recovery