The definition of prescribed burning
Controlled or prescribed burning, also known as hazard reduction burning or Swailing is a technique sometimes used in forest management, farming, prairie restoration or greenhouse gas abatement. ...
A method of getting rid of unwanted foliage from grazing areas, renewing grassy areas in the spring and also to protect communities where there is a build-up of forest litter and dead fall.
Prescribed fire (Rx fire) is defined as fire applied in a knowledgeable manner to forest fuels on a specific land area under selected weather conditions to accomplish predetermined, well-defined management objectives.
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Fire Science in the Kruger National Park
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In an effort to both help prevent larger subsequent wildfires, and to better understand the nature of emission products (gases and aerosol particles) from fires in Africa, prescribed burns are being set in some areas of Southern Africa during the SAFARI Field Experiment. In previous SAFARI campaigns, prescribed fires (like the one being set in these pictures) as large as 2,000 hectares (4,940 acres) were set in Kruger National Park, South Africa.
Another such prescribed burn will be set this Sunday, August 20, in Southern Africa by the international team of scientists participating in SAFARI 2000. Coincident with data acquired by the Terra satellite, the researchers will use ground-based instruments and sensors mounted on aircraft to measure the emissions from this fire, to measure the extent and severity of the burn scar, and to estimate how much biomass was consumed by flame. These experiment data are then cross-compared with data from the Terra satellite to help scientists validate and fine-tune its ability to measure the impacts of fire on climate and the environment on a global scale.
Fire experiments in Kruger continue
South Africa, Big yellow trucks and eager volunteers in bright yellow shirts mark the onset of the second phase of the experiment, currently underway in the Satara region of the Kruger National Park (KNP).
One of the most important management practices that has been applied in the Kruger National Park since its establishment is controlled burning.
This is because fire is recognised as a natural factor of the environment in the Park where it has occurred since time immemorial and has and still is one of the most important factors influencing the composition and structure of the savanna vegetation.
Systematic controlled burning in different forms has been applied since 1954 to provide palatable, nutritious grazing for wildlife and maintain an optimum balance between grass and bush vegetation. A program for monitoring the condition of the rangelands in the Park since 1989 has indicated a steady decline in the forage production potential and a decrease in the diversity of perennial grass species.
Excessively frequent burning has been identified as one of the likely causes for these changes and debate has developed on strategies to decrease this rate. One option is a laissez-faire approach which has been adopted in the Park and where fires caused by lightning are permitted to burn (but anthropogenic fires as far as possible are extinguished) believing that this will result in the development of a natural fire regime.
Another option is a structured approach where controlled burning is applied following a decision-support system using ecological criteria. In both cases it is believed that this will result in a decrease in the frequency of burning in the Park and lead to sustainable and maximum biodiversity.
Rhinos caught in fire horror
One of the rhinos that got burnt at the Kruger National Park during a controlled fire.