SUPPORT the #firefighters battling the Overberg Fires
Be extra vigilant against wildfires in 2020
As grain harvesting gets underway in the Overberg, we’re calling on grain farmers and their teams to take extra precautions against wildfires. 2020, in particular, will be more risky than previous years, following a good winter rainfall. But record harvests also mean an increased risk of damage and loss because of wildfires.
We’ve got 8 actions you should implement now, as harvest season gets underway.
WELCOME TO THE HOME OF THE
GREATER OVERBERG FIRE PROTECTION ASSOCIATION
registered Fire Protection Association of the Overberg
Most of the work to prepare for a wildfire takes place before fire season even starts – as part of our integrated fire management support.
During this time, we work with our members to identify wildfire risks, and look for ways to reduce them. Members should follow a few steps during the winter and spring months, to prepare themselves for fire season.
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.
FIRE DANGER INDEX
27 October 2020
- Bredasdorp 62% 62%
- Caledon 58% 58%
- Gansbaai 50% 50%
- Grabouw 55% 55%
- Hermanus 52% 52%
- Swellendam 55% 55%
- Kleinmond 51% 51%
- Villiersdorp 57% 57%
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
Preventing wildfire through partnerships:
The goFPA has partnered with solar leasing platform, Sun Exchange, in a collaboration to help our landowners and members prepare for fire season. Through this innovative deal, Sun Exchange encourages their customers to donate any income earned form leasing solar cells on the platform to goFPA. The goFPA team uses the donations to better prepare for fire season – as fires get hotter, bigger and burn more frequently as a result of a changing climate.
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. And that was followed by 2019 as the second hottest year ever.
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
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
Before fire season starts, there are a number of things landowners must ensure are in place – to prepare for wildfires. Here is a farmer’s checklist to guide our members BEFORE the start of fire season. Help us find water sources when fighting fire on your
The Greater Overberg Fire Protection Association is teaming up with solar energy finance company, Sun Exchange, to tackle the ever-increasing threat of wildfire. It’s a first-of-its-kind partnership for both the goFPA and Sun Exchange.
These wetlands face numerous threats. Topping that list are the impact of invasive alien plants, a changing climate and inappropriate fire regimes. That’s where the Greater Overberg Fire Protection Association can play a role:
Some fires you may see burning across the Overberg (March and early April) are actually ecological burns. These are prescribed burns that take extensive planning and resources. That’s not least to help reduce the risks of burning during the current fire season. Why do we support ecological burns? (And why are these burns
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
16-22 March: Water Week
Mid April: End of Fire Feason
22 April: Climate Action (Earth Day)
4 May: International Firefighter’s Day
Wednesday, 5 August 2020 at 9:00:
goFPA DIGITAL AGM
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