Communities in Chile to benefit from Kishugu NPC’s FireWise programme
In co-operation with Working on Fire Chile, Kishugu NPC has been working closely with forestry clients to scope and initiate a pilot FireWise Communities programme in thirteen ‘at risk’ Chilean villages.
Under the new LandWorks NPC brand, a team from South Africa travelled to Chile late last year to scope and plan the structure under which this new FireWise Communities programme would take place.
“The first three communities are currently undergoing FireWise training. They have already formed FireWise Committees as a first step in taking responsibility to reduce their villages’ risk,” says Chandra Fick, FireWise Recognition Programme Coordinator for Kishugu NPC.
“A further seven communities will be added to expand the two-year programme to comprise ten communities in total,” says Fritz Lubbe, Managing Director for Working on Fire, Chile.
Kishugu NPC’s Technical Coordinator, Hein Krause, also took part in the initial scoping process and foresees that the programme will develop into a sustainable programme over the next two years
Similar to the Western Cape Province of South Africa, Chile also has a Mediterranean region that is subject to a ‘summer’ fire season, which has a climate prone to periodic drought. Many of the lessons learned in South Africa are transferable to the Chilean situation, requiring landscape level risk–reduction treatment, as part of an Integrated Fire Management approach. Villages are at risk due to their close proximity to commercial forestry and agricultural landscapes. Therefore, villagers need to be taught about what they can do to reduce the risk to their lives, homes and assets.