Harvest season is underway in the Overberg. So to help our grain farmers reduce the risks of wildfires at this time, here are some helpful tips.
TIP 1: CHECK YOUR FIRE UNITS
Have your fire units (bakkie sakkies) been serviced? Have them tested, to ensure they’re in good working order.
TIP 2: Could your machines start a wildfire?
Check your combine harvester and other machines regularly for anything that could spark a fire. Check for overheating and watch for sparks from rocks.
TIP 3: DO YOU HAVE FIRE-FIGHTING EQUIPMENT ON/NEAR THE HARVESTERS AND MOWERS?
It’s vitally important that fire in grain field be put out extremely quickly. Keep your bakkie sakkie and fire beaters on hand. This could mean the difference between stopping a small fire or battling a huge blaze.
TIP 4: Have you saved these phone numbers?
Save these phone numbers to your emergency contacts (or somewhere you can easily find the numbers) and encourage your staff to do the same.
TIP 5: Report fire as quickly as possible
Don’t assume someone else has reported a fire. Please phone the Fire Department immediately. Then call your neighbours. And be sure to drop a pin to the goFPA number (063 690 7899) to tell us exactly where it’s burning. How to drop a pin.
It’s burning in my grainlands – what now?
Implement the tried and tested wildfire defence strategy: LCES (pronounced Laces).
Have a lookout watching the fire move. This person communicates the fire’s movements clearly. Fire in grainlands moves fast, so make sure your lookout is safe.
Ensure all players are communicating clearly and calmly with each other, with the Incident Commander ultimately responsible for all calls.
E: EXIT ROUTES
Grain fires can burn in several lines at the same time, trapping fire-fighters. So be aware of 2 escape routes at all times.
S: SAFETY ZONES
Establish your safety zone, where all partners can retreat to during a fire. Ideally this should be ‘behind’ the grain fire, in an area that has already burned.
Adopt LCES and apply them on the ground.