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International delegates pour into South African Wildfire conference

Mon, 9th May '11


International delegates pour into South African Wildfire conferenceMore than 700 wildland fire fighting experts from 73 countries are meeting at Sun City near Johannesburg in South Africa this week (May 9-13) to discuss the global impact of wildfire.


This week’s conference, Wildfire 2011, is themed: “Living with Fire”, addressing global change through integrated fire management. Climate change is likely to top the list of discussion as it is increasingly impacting on wildland fire fighters. Rising temperatures, water shortages and changing weather patterns mean wildland fires are becoming hotter, more aggressive and burning in areas previously not at risk of burning.


The international wildfire event takes place every four years and was last hosted by Spain. South Africa’s wildfire fighting community is among the most advanced in the world. Thousands of impoverished rural youth have been trained to fight wildfire under a South African government job creation programme called Working on Fire. This programme is administered by the FFA Group.


 The next global conference will be hosted in 2015 at a country still to be announced.


Internationally respected scenario planner Clem Sunter will open Wildfire 2011 on Tuesday, May 10 with an address on risk management in a catastrophe. He will be followed by Felician Kilahama from Tanzania’s Ministry of Natural Resources and Tourism who is speaking on integrated fire management in that country. JT Williams from the United States will talk on the findings and implications of a global assessment on recent selected mega fires. Naomi Brown from the Australasian Fire Authority will discuss the controversial, “stay or go” approach for communities under fire.


The conference will also provide a forum for launching new wildfire fighting technology as well as new research in controlled burning and creating fire breaks.


Issued by HWB Communications Pty (Ltd)

On behalf of Wildfire 2011

For more information 

Please Contact Evelyn John Holtzhausen

Mobile: +27 (0) 82 658 6007

 Email: evelyn@hwb.co.za