The FireWise Communities Programme is intended to encourage and equip communities across South Africa to work toward a common goal: to reduce the loss of lives, properties, and resources to wildland fire. This approach emphasizes community responsibility for planning in the design of a safe community. It is the community who is responsible for effective emergency response, and the individual within the community who is responsible for safer home construction and design, landscaping and maintenance.
The voluntary FireWise Community aims to:
- improve safety in the wildland/urban interface by learning to share responsibility,
- create and nurture local partnerships for improved decision making, and
- encourage the integration of FireWise concepts into community and disaster alleviation planning.
Damaging wildfires in the wildland/urban interface will continue unless people work together to solve basic community development planning issues at a local level. Interdisciplinary, cooperative problem solving across land ownership is part of the solution.
It is important to note that the FireWise Community beneficiaries are primarily recruited as fire prevention workers rather than fire fighters and this is reflected in the type of training and equipment supplied. Each voluntary FireWise Community is represented by an elected FireWise Committee, consisting of responsible community members and partners such as local government representatives. Kishugu NPC provides training and support, along with the necessary equipment, to enable communities to create a FireWise environment.
Download the 2012 list of Voluntary FireWise Communities.