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Burning/fire in Kruger - discussion

Discuss and find information on the Kruger National Park
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Kicker Cat
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Re: Observations from my last trip to KNP.

Unread post by 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 post by 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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Re: The 2013 BURN

Unread post by 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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Re: The 2013 BURN

Unread post by 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:
Kruger - 16th Feb to 8th March 2017

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MOGGYMINDER
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Re: The 2013 BURN

Unread post by 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 post by 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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MOGGYMINDER
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Re: The 2013 BURN

Unread post by 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 post by 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 post by 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

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Introduction of an upcoming High Intensity Fire experiment

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

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Re: Introduction of an upcoming High Intensity Fire experime

Unread post by 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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Lesego
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Re: Introduction of an upcoming High Intensity Fire experime

Unread post by 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 post by 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 post by 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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