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Letter from Volunteer Wildfire Services

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Dear Gatehouse

We’re writing to thank you for helping us through the devastating recent fires that blazed in Cape Town and Stellenbosch in the first two weeks of March – the toughest two weeks in many of our lives.

Fighting the back on back fires of Cape Town and then Stellenbosch has been overwhelming for us in many respects – both as a volunteer firefighting unit and as a community, and every act of kindness shown towards us has not gone unnoticed or unappreciated, and we want to share our immense gratitude towards you.

Your donation to Volunteer Wildfire Services ensured that all our volunteers who assisted with the recent fires could approach their duties on the fire line and in the control centre well-fed, properly protected, and –perhaps most importantly– motivated by the immense support you’ve shown for them. The difference that this support makes holds increasing meaning and importance for our men and women who, exhausted and overwhelmed, battled the fires day and night for an unprecedented period of two weeks. I cannot stress enough the importance of your contribution in overcoming this.

As you may know, all members of the VWS are unpaid volunteers, who offer their free time outside of their day jobs to train for six months a year, carry out standby duty, offer logistical support and fight wildfires during fire season. We rely entirely on donations to maintain our vehicles, fill them with fuel, feed our hungry firefighters, train them during winter and buy them the equipment they need (firefighting tools, radios, protective clothing, backpacks etc.) to put the fire out. More often than not, this is done out of the public eye.

This past fire season has been one of the busiest we have ever faced as a unit, and we have assisted Table Mountain National Park and CapeNature at over 45 fires since the season began in November.

To receive your donation and moral support unexpectedly at this difficult time has provided enormous relief to our stretched resources, and will help to sustain the three bases (Newlands, Jonkershoek and South Peninsula) and the work of all the volunteers who make up the VWS today. Without your help, we simply wouldn’t be able to continue fighting wildfires in the Cape and Boland regions.

We are proud to be a part of a community that shows the spirit you have shared with us, and we thank you again for your support. It is our honour to serve you.

Thank you again!

Kind regards,

Lisa Ryser
VWS Thank you Team