During the summer in the Western Cape there are a lot of wildfires spreading over the beautiful mountains, destroying the vineyards and fynbos in the area. This is devastating, to see nature burning away in the feisty eyes of a wildfire.
During 2000 Cape Town experienced devastating fires and with a non-profit organization dedicating their lives to safe this beautiful city, Volunteer Wildfire Services then registered as a company and now operates fully organized. Still operating in full swing the Wildfire Service is completely dependent on volunteers. This includes people with a day time jobs to students to people with their own businesses.
The Volunteer Wildfire Service receives funding from corporate and organizational partners as well as individuals who is kind enough to donate. Equipment needed to fight fires can be very expensive ranging from millions for a helicopter and thousands for the right clothing. Accessories like oxygen tanks and thermal imaging cameras to help fire fighters see where they go are also of great importance. This equipment is absolutely necessary and if they don’t use it many lives can be in danger. Other equipment to assist with fire fighting like a cordless power drill to get through tough areas aren’t as necessary to them but can save a lot of time and lives.
It is really inspiring to see how these volunteers give their lives for absolutely no payment but purely for love and caring for the community. These volunteers aren’t working by themselves, they receive help and support from various sources like the Table Mountain National Park, Cape Town Fire and Emergency Services, CapeNature, Disaster Management, Titan Aviation, UT Air, Winelands Fire Brigade, the South African Navy and Working on Fire.
You can’t just walk in there and demand to be called a Wildfire fire fighter. You go through strenuous training to be able to fight the ultimate wildfire. If you considering helping a great organization like this, be sure to be fit and not scared of fires and heat. All my respect to these guys.