Working on Fire (WOF), which started in 2003, is an Expanded Public Works Programme aimed at providing work opportunities to young men and women. The Programme resides under, and is funded by, the Department of Environmental Affairs. Participants are recruited from marginalised communities and trained in fire awareness and education, fire prevention and fire suppression skills, including bush clearing.
The difference with other “working on programmers“ is that WOF employs more than 5000 young men and women permanently who have been fully trained as wildfire firefighters and are stationed in more than 200 bases throughout South Africa. WOF addresses the prevention and control of wildland fires to enhance the sustainability and protection of life, properties and the environment through the implementation of Integrated Fire Management solutions.
They are no strangers to the area having previously been deployed to the area to assist and to fight fires.
Starting in the week of 3 August, a team from Working on Fire will be clearing existing firebreaks in the Irma Booysen and Cape St Francis Reserves in order to prepare Cape St Francis for the summer fire season. Work will begin near the tennis courts and then proceed towards the Birkenhead and Diaz entrances of the Irma Booysen reserve. The work is being organized in partnership between the KOUGA Municipality and FOSTER.
It is well known that uncontrolled fires have caused extensive damage to properties in this area over the past few years. Maintains existing Fire breaks and the clearing of bush and aliens is an essential part of preventing fires from damaging properties and infrastructure should they occur.