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Introduction of an upcoming High Intensity Fire experiment

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Lesego
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Introduction of an upcoming High Intensity Fire experiment

Unread postby Lesego » Mon Mar 11, 2013 4:54 pm

To address an important ecological management concern in savanna parks (Bush Thickening), the KNP designed and conducted high intensity fire experiment at Malelane Section in September 2010. The experiment was successfully implemented ecologically and logistically; however, a few animals were burnt in the process. Lessons learnt from that experiment will be implemented in the second application of this project in September 2013.
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Re: Introduction of an upcoming High Intensity Fire experime

Unread postby gmlsmit » Mon Mar 11, 2013 6:00 pm

Please remember the 30-30-30 principle.
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Re: Introduction of an upcoming High Intensity Fire experime

Unread postby kite » Mon Mar 11, 2013 11:12 pm

Please could you explain this?

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Re: Introduction of an upcoming High Intensity Fire experime

Unread postby gmlsmit » Tue Mar 12, 2013 7:50 am

The 30 - 30 - 30 rule =

Wind speed <30 km h.
Humidity factor >30.
Ambient temperature <30 C.
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Re: Introduction of an upcoming High Intensity Fire experime

Unread postby Rooies » Tue Mar 12, 2013 8:47 am

1) Where will this burning take place? I assume that a different area will be targeted.
2) How will the lessons learnt be implemented? (to prevent injuries or death to animals)

The decision to burn was probably taken after proper research has been done. If so, can someone please explain the dynamics of such a (hopefully) controlled burn.
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Re: Introduction of an upcoming High Intensity Fire experime

Unread postby Lesego » Tue Mar 12, 2013 11:09 am

The burn will take place in two fire blocks in the Malelane section near the Afsaal picnic site. Blocks S086 and S063. The fire is at the same site as the team needs to repeat the fire treatment to look at the effects on the vegetation.
It was known from the start of the project that objectives for the project (having an effect on the woody vegetation) were not going to be achieved with a single fire and therefore they have to repeat the fire treatment in the same area.

For the second application of the high intensity fire treatment, they are not going to set the two blocks on fire in a single fire front (as done in 2010). They are only going to ignite the northern block in a perimeter fire. The team is also going to be changing the method of ignition for the second block. In 2010 they only used a perimeter. This year they are also targeting cooler or lower FDI days and allowing the ignition pattern (spiral) to create the hot fire.. This is a much safer and more practical option to create a hot fire. However, they have not tested this method and will do so in September 2013.

Dynamics of the high intensity fire.
Savanna vegetation has developed with fire for millions of years. They are extremely fire adapted and therefore it is very difficult to kill an intact savanna tree. With this in mind and the increase in the bush in the landscape (high rainfall and increased C02), we are losing our grasslands and the area is becoming a thicket. This has severe biodiversity, tourist and ecological consequences.. Now scientists would like to use fire as an option to remove some of the woody vegetation, as chemical and mechanical options at the landscape scale of the KNP is not viable. But as said, savanna vegetation is fire tolerant and therefore very high intensity fires are needed to have an effect on the trees. This is what this research project is trying to understand.
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Re: Introduction of an upcoming High Intensity Fire experime

Unread postby Rooies » Tue Mar 12, 2013 11:44 am

Thanks Lesego for the reply. I am sure that there are many folks that would like to follow this programme to see what the immediate effect and long term effect is. Is it possible to keep us abreast on a regular basis or provide a link to some or other scientific site. In one of the Kruger books, there is a series of pictures taken at regular intervals, (one year, 5 years and ten years later) of sites that have been burned and what effect this had on plant growth.

If one looks at Kruger on Google earth, one sees a lot of strange pattern in the veld (a few km X a few km) that is not visible from the tourist routes. I assume it must be some sort of burning programme but nothing is mentioned anywhere.
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Re: Introduction of an upcoming High Intensity Fire experime

Unread postby gmlsmit » Tue Mar 12, 2013 12:00 pm

My request.
Could a map indicating the planned burn area please be shown on this thread?
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Re: Introduction of an upcoming High Intensity Fire experime

Unread postby Lesego » Wed Mar 13, 2013 7:38 pm

When did the fire experiment in the park get started?

After concerns were raised about bush thickening in areas of the Kruger National Park that are on granites and receive more than 600 mm of rain, the Scientific Services department developed and registered a project titled “Experimenting with very high intensity fires to combat bush thickening in the KNP”.

The first implementation of high intensity fire experiment was conducted in September 2010. The KNP is planning to implement a second fire experiment in September 2013.
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Re: Introduction of an upcoming High Intensity Fire experime

Unread postby Lesego » Wed Mar 13, 2013 7:43 pm

gmlsmit wrote:My request.
Could a map indicating the planned burn area please be shown on this thread?


I will ask to find out if it would be possible to get the map.
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Re: Introduction of an upcoming High Intensity Fire experime

Unread postby hilda » Thu Mar 14, 2013 3:57 pm

I wish them all success with this experiment, and sincerely hope that no animals will be hurt/burnt this time around. :thumbs_up:

Thanks for the info Lesego! :D
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Re: Introduction of an upcoming High Intensity Fire experime

Unread postby Sky » Thu Mar 14, 2013 4:24 pm

Hi Lesego
Thanks for all the info :thumbs_up:
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Re: Introduction of an upcoming High Intensity Fire experime

Unread postby Lesego » Mon Mar 18, 2013 11:09 am

Some of you may be wondering what is the importance of understanding the role of high intensity fires?

The effects of global warming has led to climate change; thus affecting rainfall patterns and air temperatures. Over the past few years, there has been an increase in the number of high fire danger Index days and more “mega-fires” around the world. For Protected Areas like the KNP, it is important to understand how to manage fires and use them ecologically in the system, hence high intensity fire experiments are conducted. The implementation of high intensity fire experiment in 2010 was the first attempt to address bush thickening in the park while taking into consideration these global warming concerns. However, the objectives could not be achieved with a single application. It is for this reason that another high intensity fire experiment will be conducted in September 2013.
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Re: Introduction of an upcoming High Intensity Fire experime

Unread postby gmlsmit » Mon Mar 18, 2013 12:32 pm

Please don not forget about the map.

Also please do not forget the catastrophe and the outrage caused by the fire to the many burnt animals in 2010.
I participate because I care - CUSTOS NATURAE
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Re: Introduction of an upcoming High Intensity Fire experime

Unread postby Lesego » Mon Mar 18, 2013 3:00 pm

Here is the map:

Image
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