About Volunteer Wildfire Services
The Volunteer Wildfire Services (VWS) has been combating dangerous and sometimes deadly runaway wildfires since its baptism during the devastating 1999/2000 fires in Cape Town. With over 200 volunteer members at four stations (Newlands, Jonkershoek, South Peninsula and the newly developing Grabouw Station), VWS is a highly-organised Non-Profit Organisation, run and managed by a team of volunteers as well as a recently employed General Manager.
The VWS has assisted the Table Mountain National Park, CapeNature, Overberg District Municipality and Winelands District Municipality with some of the wildest fires Cape Town and the Western Cape have experienced.
The VWS works closely with other emergency service organisations in wildland fire management such as Table Mountain National Park, CapeNature, City of Cape Town Fire and Rescue Service, Disaster Management, Winelands Fire Brigade, Stellenbosch Fire Brigade, Overberg District Municipality and Working on Fire. This has meant that to date VWS has achieved over 56,000 active firefighting hours between its members and stations.
South Peninsula Station is the most recently formed VWS Station, coming into creation in 2012 and assisting with their standbys and fires in the same year. This station is still finding its feet as growth continues slowly drawing in more new recruits this year, and with the helping hand of some dual members from the Newlands Station.
Following the devastating fires at the beginning of 2009 in the Jonkershoek Valley, around Stellenbosch and Somerset West, a new station was established in Jonkershoek. The Jonkershoek station has allowed the VWS to hugely expand its area of service, providing assistance in the four major Boland CapeNature Reserves: Jonkershoek, Liemietberg, Kogelberg and Hottentots Holland.
What We Do
- Wildfire suppression services
- Wildfire suppression and management training
- Education and awareness
- Monitoring and active fire suppression during prescribed ecological burns
- With the ongoing support of the community, VWS will continue its goal of saving and protecting South Africa’s natural heritage, property, lives and precious mountain water catchment areas.