SAAF assists with firefighting in the Northern Cape


The South African Air Force (SAAF) has helped fight fires in the Northern Cape in collaboration with the South African Police Service (SAPS), Agri Northern Cape, Farmers union and other entities.

The SAPS on 21 October said raging fires had ravaged thousands of hectares of land, destroyed farms and structures, killed livestock and animals and inflicted injury and damage to property.

A multi-disciplinary team was activated on 13 October in an effort to fight the fires that flared up in various areas around the greater Kimberley area.

An emergency command structure was activated under the command of Captain John Seeley and W/O Ronsard Allen from Police Emergency Services as well as officers from JTac. The South African Air Force assisted with military helicopters that was deployed to aid in dousing the fires, with the A109 being used as a spotter and support aircraft and Oryx helicopter used to drop water.

Various external role-players provided ground support in addition to the air support provided by the SAAF helicopters.

During the duration of the operation, which ended on 21 October, more than 250 Bambi Buckets (approximately 500 000 litres of water) were dropped onto various fires.

The Acting Provincial Commissioner of the SAPS, Major General Joey Kers conveyed his gratitude and appreciation to all the role-players who participated in this joint operation “which yielded great success despite the devastating destruction that was caused by the raging fires,” the SAPS said.