Trail run and firefighter fun

Firefighters demonstrate how to extinguish a blaze.

If there ever was a time to join in the race for water, it is now, and on Sunday April 23, Volunteer Wildfire Services (VWS) will once again host its popular Race for Water trail runs, as well as its annual Fire and Fynbos Awareness Day, this time at a new venue – Elsenburg College outside Stellenbosch.

This will include exciting activities such as wildfire firefighting demonstrations and helicopter displays.

The more challenging 14km trail run will start at 7.30am, while families and novices can join the 6km trail run at 8am, with both courses offering views from Simonsberg to Cape Town.

Pre-enter on or enter at the venue on the day.

“The main focus of this year’s Fire and Fynbos Awareness Day is the water crisis that is severely impacting our community,” says Hayley Hagen, a member of the organising team.

One of VWS’s main objectives is the protection and preservation of the Western Cape’s fresh water supply. The backbone of this system is the remote mountain catchment areas and the diverse fynbos ecosystem that is critical in managing the run-off for a sustainable water supply.

“As volunteer firefighters we battle the wildfires that sweep through, and ravage those precious areas, and we do that with great passion and dedication. Come meet our volunteers and other firefighting agencies – it promises to be a fun day out, with loads of activities for the whole family,” says Hayley.

After the run, participants can enjoy a quick breather with coffee, a muffin and an egg-and-bacon roll, and join in the awareness day activities, at 9am.

Children can learn about fire, fire safety and firefighting, and enthusiasts can look forward to fire truck rides, a climbing wall, pumps and hoses, wildfire firefighting displays with helicopter drops and various interesting exhibitions.

Snakes and raptors will be on display, with snake shows at 10.30am and 1.30pm. A highlight will be the wildfire firefighting demonstrations, at 11.30am and 2.30pm – showing what a VWS crew does best, with full aerial support from a firefighting helicopter and other firefighting agencies on the day.

The afternoon will end with the famous VWS foam party, at 3.30pm. Food, snacks and drinks will be sold at the event. Entry to the venue is free, but there will be charges for certain activities.

Visit Volunteer Wildfire Services on Facebook for more information, or email or