Richmond Fire Protection News June 2010
Firstly it is with great sadness that we lost one of our members Mr. Roger O’Neil who passed away, he was one of our first members and we will miss his input and support. We pray and trust that God will undertake and keep his family at this time as they work through everything.
Wow winter has certainly hit us with a vengeance I can’t remember when I last felt this cold in June. Suddenly everything has dried off very quickly and all the fire break burning is going full steam ahead. We have experienced some rather dry and windy weather which has not helped the progress of breaks although I think most landowners are ahead of where they were last year at this time. It is a huge juggling for us as an FPA with the weather trying to make the right decisions with allowing or not allowing landowners to burn especially with the unpredictable weather. I ask that you all bear with us as we will get it wrong some days in our endeavors to keep it safe for everyone, the different terrain doesn’t make it easier either. We are well aware that if the weather carries on like it is we might have a problem from a safety aspect burning later than the middle of July. As I have said in the past let us all work together in getting through the season ahead , it is imperative that everyone works hard at getting their fire breaks in place. Please remember that is a legal requirement that all landowners out of town have firebreaks around their properties, which are able to stop a reasonable fire from crossing over onto their neighbour’s property. A lot of people brush cut the grass this only serves to drop the flame level and certainly does not stop the fire, in fact if anything the fire runs through the short grass quicker than the long grass. Regulation is a break must have no combustible material in it in other words hoed or burnt is the requirement for it to be of any use. Short grass can be used as an aid to fight a fire from; unfortunately there is not always the manpower available to do this. Let’s try and get it right so as to make it easier for everyone concerned.
Our recommendations for July are as follows
Complete the burning of your firebreaks as per your plan
Ensure Eskom servitudes are burnt
Advise all staff of call-out and dispatch protocols
Perform daily and weekly checks of all equipment, using checklists
Obtain FDI forecast on a daily basis from your local FPA
Distribute your standby rosters to all neighbours, if you are going to be away please inform us with who is standing in for you. We lose valuable time trying to get hold of people.
Perform checks to ensure readiness and quick reaction at all times
Study weather systems and check forecasts on the internet remember
log onto www. Richmondfpa.co.za and follow links to weather
We have at last received our Working on Fire crew of 28 all local ladies and men (18-35) mostly unemployed or never worked before who will start with training in the next few weeks and will be ready to assist us during the fire season. They are a great group of young people who are currently busy with undergoing fitness training and are doing very well; they also undergo military disciplines of drilling and working as team which will stand them in good stead of fighting the enemy (FIRE). This crew will be available to assist with fires and fire breaks in the district during fire season and out of season will be used for creating awareness of the dangers of fire in schools and communities, and community projects amongst other things. Please contact Terry Tedder on 0825512878 if you need further information
The team been put through their paces by their crew leaders
Contact details: Firehawk 0826126163; 0798807819. Terry 0825512878.
Fire dept call centre 0338455911