Part 5: Only you can prevent wildfires
An important aspect of the FynbosFire Project was to increase the capacity of people in the landscape to deal with wildfires. Over 5,000 people were trained in a range of courses that encompassed important elements of IFM applicable to the Fynbos Biome, such as fire ecology, fire behaviour, assessing fire risk, the application of prescribed burning, and the likely impacts of climate change on fire management.
The project supported the ongoing professional and technical development of landowners and public institutions that are directly responsible for the planning, co-ordination, and implementation of IFM activities in the Fynbos Biome. Stakeholders have been sponsored to attend various courses covering IFM and Incident Command Systems. Many of these courses are focused on Fire Protection Association (FPA) members in order to incrementally improve their skills and competency levels to make decisions that will need to be made under conditions of climate change.
“I have been fortunate enough to attend various IFM-related training interventions funded by the UNDP-GEF Fynbos Fire Project and feel that all these courses gave me the knowledge and skills to assist where necessary during wildfires on the Cape Peninsula, and hopefully make a solid contribution in the suppression thereof while maintaining ecosystem integrity.” Says Riaan Fourie, Extension Officer of the Cape Peninsula FPA’s North Ward.