We have experienced our first fire season during a pandemic. Who could have foreseen the impacts of this virus – even on our fire-fighting community this past fire season?
The goFPA team – including you, our valued members – work together in these challenging times, and in so doing we create an even safer Overberg for all. This can undoubtedly also be seen in the past fire season. Our members showed teamwork and set an example for others in order to positively influence other farmers and stakeholders in the Overberg – and beyond – to be more wildfire-safe and ready. We are very grateful to you. There are many more we are grateful to: our Fire Services, CapeNature, Working on Fire, Volunteer Wildfire Services, NCC Wildfire Services, Enviro Wildfire Services, law enforcement, municipalities and volunteers.
Here is our digital annual report. It’s a snapshot of the 2020/21 year. In order to make it easy for you to read, we’ve divided it into three sections:
– goFPA membership
– Activities of the past year
– And the Fire Season
We hope you enjoy the read.
Dr Paul Clüver
Chairperson: Greater Overberg Fire Protection Association
goFPA MEMBERSHIP AREA SUMMARY
(172 211 ha)
(104 448 ha)
(210 407 ha)
(213 477 ha)
PROPOSED goFPA FEE SCHEDULE: 1 April 2021 – 31 Mar 2022
Municipalities, Parastatals e.g. Eskom, Telkom, State land
R 2 407
ANNUAL MEMBERSHIP FEES:
Land owner and governmental conservation areas
e.g. CapeNature, OTB. Farm portions with the same land manager/owner/lessee and trading under the same name are recognised as one member and therefore pay one collective fee.
Industrial or Developments (Gated estates & Resorts)
Parastatals: Eskom, Telkom, Sanral, Transnet – as per agreement. This might be subjected to certain umbrella negotiations
Please note that the fees above exclude VAT at 15 %.
Our 2021-21 Board has been elected. The new Board members are:
DR PAUL CLÜVER
(Wine and apple farmer, De Rust Estate & philanthropist)
(Representative of the broader Strandveld area)
(Sondagskloof FMU and conservationist)
(Executive at Cliffe Dekker Hofmeyr, Olive farmer – Van Der Stel Pass area)
(Farmer, Honeybee Farm outside Stanford)
(Ruggens FMU leader and wheat farmer)
JOSE DE KOCK
(Chair of Napier Agri Ass, represents the Napier area)
(Agulhas National Park, Slanghoek)
PRE-FIRE SEASON HIGHLIGHTS
Training OF MEMBERS
The COVID-19 pandemic had a negative impact on the uptake of training opportunities and the lockdown period limited the window to deliver the training. To accommodate grain farmers, we will offer basic wildfire training in the period after planting and before harvesting.
June 2020 onwards
During the past six months, the team continued its work to reduce wildfire risks and attend to members’ support requests. Here are some of the highlights:
- Continued COVID-19 JOC support to the ODM provided by the Manager
- Planning and executing the Grootbos block burns
- Walker Bay/Wortelgat/CapeNature risk engagement
- Infanta – Oliver Sedgewick fire management planning
- Berg ’n Dal assessment, advice and report
- Vredehoek/Sandies Glen area burn planning (ongoing)
- Hermanuspietersfontein (ongoing, on hold due to lack of transport)
- Transnet railway risks
- Fynbos Retreat firebreak
- Rustygate/CapeNature firebreak agreement
- Gabrielskloof burn planning (ongoing)
- Heilfontein burn, planning and burn support
- ESKOM claim support: Hertzog E de la H h/a Elstelm and neighbours
- DEFF Forestry Support Programme support and guidance
- Kleinswartberg burn planning support
STRATEGIC FIREBREAKS (WITH PARTNERS)
PLAN & PREP MEETINGS
New staff member
Mitch Afrika started his new job with goFPA on 5 April 2021. He will have an office at Overstrand Fire Services located at Hermanus Fire Services.
ODM Burn Permit Support
Keith is doing a sterling job and, with the support of Fire Services, fire permits are issued timeously. An increase in compliance by landowners – members and non-members – has been noted.
HIGH-RISK AREAS 2020/21
(These areas were identified prior to the 2020/21 fire season. Hover over the map and click on the fire icon to see details on the highlighted area. We will now build on these identified areas for the next fire season.)
Communications platforms: A look back
Additional to our social media campaigns and direct communications with our members, goFPA delivered four media statements. Efforts were focused on wildfire prevention, response at a wildfire, how to report wildfires, Fire Services control room numbers, urban interface challenges and high-risk information. These infographics tell the story.
We would like to acknowledge LoveGreen for the creative support. Full report here.
GROWTH: -10 %
GROWTH: -31 %
MEDIA ARTICLES & FEATURES
- Netwerk24 (26 Februarie 2021): Saamstaan met brand ‘n riem onder die hart
- Cape Town Etc. (18 January 2021): Two fires break out in the Overberg area
- Landbouweekblad (15 October 2020): Maak jou plaas brandbestand
- Netwerk24 (9 October 2020): Maak jou plaas só brandbestand
- AlgoaFM (1 February 2021): Firefighter dies in line of duty in Barrydale area
- Overstrand Municipality: (Overstrand residents: Make sure you’re wildlife-ready; 23 October 2020)
- Overstrand Municipality: (Three new vehicles handed over; 12 February 2021)
- Overberg Renosterveld Conservation Trust: (Fire in Renosterveld: Why animals get picky over the age of the veld; 15 February 2021)
- Grootbos Foundation: (Spring Newsletter; 6 January 2021)
- Fynbos Forum 2020: (Special session at the Fynbos Forum; 23 August 2020)
- WWF Nedbank Green Trust: (Conservation collaboration in the Overberg; 1 December 2020)
- Harcourts Kleinmond: (Overstrand residents: Make sure you’re wildfire ready; 23 October 2021)
15 432 followers
2021/22 fire season
We logged more than 500 fire incident reports in the past fire season (November 2020 to end-March 2021), with 38 159 hectares burned during the season. The biggest burn scar was captured in Jonkershoek, in a wildfire that destroyed nearly 17 000 hectares. Boosmansberg, near the town of Barrydale, experienced the second-largest fire, burning around 13 000 hectares, where we lost the life of local fire-fighter, Nelio van Rooy.
- Barrydale 6 fires) 1% 1%
- Botrivier (36 fires) 6% 6%
- Bredasdorp (73 fires) 13% 13%
- Caledon (115 fires) 21% 21%
- Grabouw (130 fires) 23% 23%
- Greyton (23 fires) 4% 4%
- Napier (3 fires) 0.5% 0.5%
- Riviersonderend (13 fires) 2% 2%
- Struisbaai (2 fires) 0.3% 0.3%
- Suurbraak (2 fires) 0.3% 0.3%
- Swellendam (108 fires) 19% 19%
- Villiersdorp (49 fires) 9% 9%
goFPA VELD FIRE INCIDENTS MAP
The 2020/21 fire season burn scar
Aerial suppression: A busy season for our pilots
Teams dispatched between Nov 2020 – March 2021: 45% provided on-the-ground support, 18% provided air support, and the remaining 39% a combination.
98.7% of wildfires this fire season were vegetation fires, 1% burned in fynbos and 0.3% were plantation fires.
This was a busy fire season for us, with two vast mountain fires. As Manager, I am very proud of the response support given this season to the Fire Services, members and the communities.
Landowners’ cooperation and support were exceptional. In our experience, the farming communities are much more organised and cooperative. It’s worthwhile mentioning the acceptance of Fire Services leadership as a highlight. We’re also proud of our continued growth in the Overberg. This means farmers are seeing the value of the service we’re offering.
We are also grateful to our current members for your fantastic support – not only during the fire season, but even in our pre-fire season work.
We look forward to working with you over the coming year, as we together help to make the Overberg even safer against wildfires.
Manager: Greater Overberg Fire Protection Association
Tel: +27 (0) 28 425 1690 | Fax: +27 (0) 86 585 2348 | Email: email@example.com
Address: Fire Station, Long Street, Bredasdorp