The Newlands station is the original and founding Volunteer Wildfire Services station. It is a well-developed station with just over 150 members volunteering their time so that the station is home to a very effective firefighting unit. The VWS shares its base with the SANParks fire management offices, this works well, as it is Table Mountain National Park who the Newlands crews assist in fighting wildfires. However, Newlands crews do not only fight wildfires in the Cape Peninsula but are often called upon to assist with firefighting efforts further afield in areas like the Boland, alongside our Jonkershoek crews, or even further in places such as the Cederberg.
We are proud to say that Newlands base is home to our ICS Planning section. One of the rooms in our base is solely used for planning as it is vital to the functioning of our firefighting efforts. Our “Planners”, when at work, are able to plot, map and run our firefighting efforts down to the smallest detail, which helps us create a well-oiled firefighting effort. Post fires, our planning department becomes vital for TMNP as we provide detailed maps of fires, which allows the Park to track veld ages, an important concern for conservation of fynbos. Our vehicle fleet, stationed at the back of our base, consisting of the Mobile Command Vehicle, two Landrover Defenders, two Ford Transit Busses (crew transporters) and a Ford Ranger skid unit, are all ready and waiting to respond at a moments notice.
Our base is located at the bottom of Newlands Forest just below the famous “Heli Pads” and above the M3. If you would like to find out more about the VWS, be it to join as a member or just out of interest for what we do and who we are, please feel free to contact our station management team (see below). If you see us training in winter or on stand by during the summer, and you are walking by or in the area please don’t be shy, come inside and have a chat.