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Burning/fire in Kruger - discussion

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Kicker Cat
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Re: Observations from my last trip to KNP.

Unread postby Kicker Cat » Wed Oct 17, 2012 9:11 am

I don't want to get into a long controversial debate - I simply made the comments - there are parties that agree with burning and those that don't - I can only comment on what I have seen and so far it is 90% animals in unburnt areas and about 10 for - but mainly Impala.

This may change on my next visit in two days we have just has some good rain last night so lets see if it changes

All have a good day.

KC

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MOGGYMINDER
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The 2013 BURN

Unread postby MOGGYMINDER » Thu Nov 08, 2012 10:21 am

Hi All, :hello:

After much useful information from this wonderful forum regarding all my queries I'm about to book next years flights but I have one final question that hadn't even crossed my mind until I had a PM from another member on a different matter. The 2013 BURN. Apparently this is planned for September ish, which is when we are coming out to Kruger, all I want to know is will this massively affect our stay, are roads closed, which camps are affected (I would assume the areas are pre-selected ?) Is there anyway of knowing where if not when - I accept the when will be difficult to pin down, will it affect sightings ? We travel from the UK for only two weeks so want it "as good as we can get it"... yes I know, don't we all ! Thoughts please people, thanks.

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Grantmissy
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Re: The 2013 BURN

Unread postby Grantmissy » Thu Nov 08, 2012 2:45 pm

Hi Moggyminder, I assume you are talking about veld fires in the dry season? As far as I know it is done in a controlled manner and tourists are usually not much affected. Fire is also a natural occurrence during that dry time of the year in Kruger but perhaps some of the other forum members can also comment and advise you. Have a great 2013 trip :thumbs_up:
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Elsa
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Re: The 2013 BURN

Unread postby Elsa » Thu Nov 08, 2012 2:56 pm

Hi Moggyminder,
there is a lot of great info in Burning/Fire in Kruger Discussion
but I am sure it will not negatively affect your stay so do not worry.
We have been in the park when they have burnt and as soon as a little bit of rain falls the green shoots come through very quickly. :thumbs_up:
Where ever you go, go with all your Heart.

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MOGGYMINDER
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Re: The 2013 BURN

Unread postby MOGGYMINDER » Thu Nov 08, 2012 3:46 pm

Hi

Thanks for the replies.
I am talking about preplanned controlled burning which is scheduled for Sept 2013, apparently it was mentioned in one of the spring newspapers ?
I have not seen the article.
I've read the discussion on Burning however it's very dated ....2005 and a lot of the replies/discussions are very old.
Has anyone any recent experience of being in Kruger when there has been a controlled burning ?
I'm not too worried about it safety wise and understand why its done, my only concern is that it costs a fortune to get to the Kruger and we only have two weeks with two of those days lost to travelling to and from, so I don't want to lose any of the twelve days left to restrictions due to fires.
Maybe it won't affect us at all ?
I would like to hear from anyone that's been when there are fires.
Thanks all.

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t-bal
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Re: The 2013 BURN

Unread postby t-bal » Thu Nov 08, 2012 5:39 pm

Hi MOGGYMINDER,

I know what you mean with the expensives to get to the Kruger as we live in Holland, so I understand you don't want to waste a single day in KNP.

We have been in the Kruger 2 times during controlled fires and haven't been worried about it.
Once it is burning the animals will go to another area but as soon as the fires have stopped we noticed the mammals come straight back.
We have even seen a hyena den and a leopard a few days after the burnings had stopped in the same area. I'm not to sure about the birding as we are not what you would call "birders" but you still see them flying around.

These areas that are burning are usually not that big so it's easy to chose alternative routes should you not want to drive these roads after a fire (if you stay in the south).
The animals do stand out more after a fire, which makes the game spotting easier.
The "bush feeling" does seem less after a fire but if this really bothers you you simply take an alternative route.

I don't know where you are staying but we have had these burnings in the north and south.
In the south alternative routes are really easy where up north there are less roads so this could be difficult.

Again it's all about how strongly you feel about (not) driving these roads after a fire.
Hope this helps :thumbs_up:
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Re: The 2013 BURN

Unread postby MOGGYMINDER » Thu Nov 08, 2012 5:55 pm

Thanks that's really helpful and clears up any concerns, we intend driving in through Croc Bridge and then heading north as we didn't get as much of the north covered as we did last time.
It would be helpful if KNP could give a rough idea of where the intended burning will be and we could avoid it however I will go ahead and book I think or I won't get the campsites we want and anything could change between now and September !
Thanks again.

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Kicker Cat
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Re: The 2013 BURN

Unread postby Kicker Cat » Thu Nov 08, 2012 6:54 pm

Hi Moggyminder,

I saw your question regarding the burning in KP - I have in fact put a post up WRT burning - you will find there are several points of view on this practice.
It should be clear that your question has evoked several varying responses. (As I am sure this post will)

Burning is a practice that has advocates as well as those that are against it - however let me rather stick to answering our question -
depending on where the burns WILL be it may affect your stay there - when the fires are burning the smoke is quite thick and acrid and does affect viewing and leaves the veld black and desolate.
My wife is asthmatic and the effect is devastating.

The last big burn was quite a large area from South to North and mainly in the (let me say eastern section) On visits after the burn sighting was IMHO poor -
now the grass in the area is verdant green and the veld looks wonderful -
On my last two visits (the last one - two days ago) -
we have been lucky enough to see many animals - however as I posted 90% to 95% were in the older veld with the balance being in the recovering veld.

The best advice is to see if you can get details if there are planned burns in the areas where you are planning to visit and see if you can plan around it.

FYI KP is looking great at the moment with some good rains and the good news is that the animals are starting to give birth - saw a 2 day old Rhino yesterday morning and will go back on Saturday to see if we can see the first of the baby Impalas

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Re: The 2013 BURN

Unread postby johanrebel » Fri Nov 09, 2012 8:19 pm

I find these fires, whether natural or manmade, rather interesting and will always take a look if in the vicinity. Lots of cool stuff to see. Animals of all sizes fleeing, which in turn attract lots of hungry predators to the buffet, etc. Flames and smoke can present a fascinating spectacle too. I've watched some really big ones at close range, quite a show!

Bear in mind that it can get pretty hot. I remember driving through a simple grass fire raging on both sides of a tar road. Even though I (unusually) had closed my windows, the heat was so intense that my ear started glowing. It hurt.

Johan

ctm7943
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Re: Burning/fire in Kruger - discussion

Unread postby ctm7943 » Mon Apr 06, 2015 5:58 pm

I had been following a couple of Kruger Facebook pages and reading the Kruger SANParks forums for months in advance, but there was no mention of fires, which had apparently started some days before we arrived in KNP in Sept 2014.

We spent many hours driving for long stretches thru burnt & still smoldering areas , with no wildlife in sight. Almost the entire ride from Sku - PSkop / H1-2 from Tshokwane - Sku / a large portion of the drive on the tar road from LS - Satara. The S3 entry near Kruger gate was blocked off (was still burning).

The wasted driving time was the only dissappointment of our entire 4 night stay.

We went on 4 sunset game drives & 1 morning drive, and the fires were never mentioned by the rangers. We also never heard anyone talking about it in the camps (maybe it is a common occurrence?)

Upon our return to the US (after visiting CPT), I read some posts on the SANParks forum about massive fires in KNP, which also affected some of the reserves.

I think it may be a good idea to use the sightings boards to let people know of these situations - using a fire symbol (magnet). I would have driven different routes had I known of the on-going & recent fires.

I just recently read on Facebook that there was a huge fire near the S122 Muntshe Loop.

Questions: Once I am in the park, is there any way of knowing which areas have recently or are currently experiencing fires?

Somewhere in this post I read a mention about scheduled burns - Where can I find info about these scheduld burns?

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Re: Burning/fire in Kruger - discussion

Unread postby ecojunkie » Mon Apr 06, 2015 6:54 pm

You experienced the results of what is known as a 'jump fire' - one started outside the KNP which jumps the borders and comes into the area. It burned a large area before being brought under control.

There are very few 'scheduled fires' as such. Each ranger, in collaboration with the others bordering his area, is given a target for his area based on previous year's rainfall, and veld conditions. These targets are carefully worked out by scientists. The rangers then burn according to the needs in their areas, and according to the weather patterns etc. They receive regular weather updates to assist them through the day.

This all means that predicting exactly when and where a fire will be is very difficult
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Re: Burning/fire in Kruger - discussion

Unread postby ctm7943 » Tue Apr 07, 2015 3:23 am

ecojunkie,
Thanks for the background info on last Sept's fires and the burn decision making process.
However, I still believe it would be beneficial for the fires to be posted somewhere - like the sightings boards, once the decisions have been made or the outside fire has jumped the border.

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Elsa
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Re: Burning/fire in Kruger - discussion

Unread postby Elsa » Wed Apr 08, 2015 9:11 am

The response Lesley received.

Lesley Nyawo wrote:The person asking about the September fires is correct that these were the runaway fires, most of which entered the KNP from Mozambique.

The suggestion that reception offices be informed of fires currently burning, or of planned fires, is a good one. But this is also nothing new: the Section Rangers have been requested to inform the reception offices in their camps or where there is no camp, to inform nearby camps.

With the assistance of the CSIR, they have also recently established a closed (i.e. Special Projects only), internal computer-based system which they use to report poaching incidents, amongst numerous other applications, so this can possibly serve as a means of communicating fire matters to other rangers, who can then inform the rest camps.

But at the same time, the tourism offices can also be pro-active by informing tourists that veld-fires are very much part of the management of the KNP, be they burns which we apply, or unscheduled burns.

The Munche fire is an example of an area burnt, and also as part of the eastern boundary firebreak preparation by Working on Fire. In this regard, all the camp reception offices should be informed that Working on Fire are here, both as ground teams and with two helicopters, to prepare the boundary firebreaks.
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Re: Burning/fire in Kruger - discussion

Unread postby ctm7943 » Thu Apr 09, 2015 7:23 pm

Elsa, thank you for your assistance.

SANParks/Leslye Nyawo: thank you for the response :clap:

Hopefully I will have better timing (concerning fires) this time in May 2015 :pray:


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