Men's Health South Africa - June 2020
English | 116 pages | PDF
The rampaging wildfires in Australia reminded the world, once again, that those willing to put their lives on the line and battle the blaze, are real heroes. But that seemingly unstoppable inferno has also sparked another conversation, one with a grim outlook. Amongst those in the scientific community, there’s little doubt that global warming is pushing the world over the edge. And one symptom of the planet’s alarmingly rapid decline is an up-tick in wildfires. New South Wales in Australia, California in the United States, and even here, in the Western Cape; new blazes are ravaging the land, leaving behind a trail of destruction (and deaths). Some of these fires are directly caused by us – a flicked cigarette, an unattended campfire – but many are the result of global warming. In these desperate times, firefighters are called on more and more often. And while we puzzle out ways to minimise our impact on the planet, these guys are confronting the raging consequences of centuries of pollution. One such group of firefighters is Vulcan Wildfire Management, led by firefighter-slash-photographer Patrick Ryan. His team doesn’t just fight fires, they’re working on tactics to prevent and contain them in the future. Which, on our current course, is an invaluable pursuit. And Ryan has dedicated himself to documenting his time on the frontlines. Turn the page for an unfiltered look at the life of a wildlands firefighter.