oa CSIR Science Scope - Managing fires in southern Africa : a hot topic : towards sustainability

Volume 3, Issue 1
  • ISSN :



Regular dry-season fires are a feature of the South African landscape. They are the inevitable consequence of the co-occurrence of three necessary conditions : Fuel to burn; hot, dry weather; and a source of ignition. Vegetation fires in southern Africa consume over 200 million tons of plant material every year, and they are one of the most powerful ecological forces around. On the one hand, our ecosystems are adapted to fires, and even need them to remain healthy. On the other hand, livestock, crops, houses and human life are at risk from fires.

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