It’s been a devastating few days in Cape Town as some of the most destructive fires in years are ravaging the countryside and threatening the lives and homes of its inhabitants, not to mention all the little creatures. We are so grateful to the men and women who have been fire fighting 24/7 for the last three days.
The support thus far from our community has been amazing. If your still keen to help out, here are some helpful tips on what to do.
Here is today’s update from the Volunteer Wildfire Services (VWS).
Update on the #SouthPeninsula #wildfire –Please take note of that the public should not try and get involved as civilian volunteers as this could lead to dangerous situations arising and could endanger both the public and our trained firefighters. If you would like to make a difference visit Volunteer Wildfire Services as well as our Facebook page where you will find numerous ways to support the crews on the line.
However if you are required to help…
- Take a small backpack with water, a snack, sunscreen (day) headlight & torch (night) eye drops
- Wear long natural fiber pants (no nylon etc)
- Wear hiking boots not nylon takkies
- Take gloves
- Face mask or bandanna
- Glasses or goggles for smoke/debris in the eyes
- Ensure you sign in and out (if you don’t sign out you will be considered missing!)
- Stay with your allocated group
- Follow instructions to the letter
- Take a spade and wet towel. Chainsaw if you can.
- Stay in minimum group of 3 so if one is injured one can get help and the other stays with injured party.
- Park too close…fire trucks need a huge amount of space to turn. This has been a problem! Drive at least 500m away from your deployment area and park there.
- Don’t use the 500ml bottles to drink while at base…use a cup and pour from the 2l bottles so the small ones can be used on the fire line.
- Don’t cut any branches and move them away from the fire…throw them into the fire so they are gone.
- Don’t be a hero…stay safe or someone may have to rescue you! Don’t ever leave your group.
- Don’t try anything you are not trained for or experienced in, ask for help and it will come.
- Try not to hassle ops management with minor queries…they have a LOT to deal with, ask one of the superb and able team rather than the main guys who are losing their voices at this stage. They may be the first people you see, but that does not necessarily mean they are the person you need to check in with. If he has a radio- he’s probably busy;)
Cash Donations can be made the Volunteer Wildfire Services:
Bank Deposits or EFT Payments can be made to:
Volunteer Wildfire Services
Branch Code: 108309
Account Number: 1083321226
* Image by EPA