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Live Wildland Fire Fighting Display highlight of Global Fire Conference

Fri, 29th April '11


Lanyards for Wildfire 2011

South Africa's wildland fire fighters will demonstrate their skills to more than 500 international wildfire experts in a field day at the Pilanesberg Game Reserve, four hours from Johannesburg during the 5th International Wildfire Conference.

The day-long field trip will take place on May 12, and end with a traditional South African Boma barbeque (braai) for the visitors.

The event includes a live wildland fire fighting display by eight top "Hotshot" crews from the Working on Fire Programme (WoF) supported by water bomber aircraft and helicopters.

The WoF programme is funded by the South African Government and is one of South Africa’s most successful poverty alleviation, job creation and community upliftment initiatives.

Through the programme young men and women are recruited and trained as skilled wildland fire fighters to be deployed throughout the country to reduce the personal and economic harm caused by unwanted wildfire. There are currently more than 3000 people deployed at more than 100 WoF bases across South Africa.

The wildland fire fighting display will include the top teams in the country comprising men and women who already have vast experience on the fire-line.

Also included will be a trip to Pilanesberg airport to view a static display of spotter and bomber planes, helicopters and fire engines. A core team of 15 wildland fire fighting pilots will be on hand to answer questions.  Aircraft engineers will also be available to speak to delegates.

During the conference WoF is running a safety and survival training camp at the Mankwase fire camp in the Pilanesberg for wildland fire teams preparing for South Africa’s winter wildland fire season. Visitors are to be taken to the camp for a ground team training demonstration.

The day promises to be a highlight of the international conference which is hosting delegates from 73 countries.

* Wildfire 2011 is organised by AfriFireNet, the sub-Saharan wildland fire network and funded by the South African government. It has the backing of the United Nations’ International Strategy for Disaster Reduction and the Food and Agricultural Organisation.

Issued by HWB Communications Pty Ltd on behalf of  Wildfire 2011
For more information please call:
Evelyn John Holtzhausen, on +27-(0) 82 658 6007
E-mail: evelyn@hwb.co.za