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Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/10204/3771

Title: Recent fire history of the Table Mountain National Park and implications for fire management
Authors: Forsyth, GG
Van Wilgen, BW
Keywords: Cape floral kingdom
Fire weather
Invasive alien plants
Fire management
Issue Date: 2008
Publisher: OpenJournals Publishing
Citation: Forsyth, GG and Van Wilgen, BW. 2008. Recent fire history of the Table Mountain National Park and implications for fire management. Koedoe: African Protected Area Conservation and Science, Vol. 50(1), pp 3-9
Abstract: This paper provides an assessment of fire regimes in the Table Mountain National Park over the past four decades. The authors compiled a GIS database of all fires between 1970 and 2007 and analysed the fire regime in terms of the frequency, season and size of fires and the relationship between fire occurrence and fire weather. Most fires (90.5% of area burnt) occurred in summer and autumn, the ecologically acceptable season for fires. However, mean fire return intervals declined by 18.1 years, from 31.6 to 13.5 years, between the first and last decades of the record respectively. The area subjected to short (= six years) intervals between fires covered > 16% of the park in the last two decades of the record, compared to ~ 4% in the first two decades. A relatively small number of large fires dominated in terms of area burnt. Of the 373 fires recorded, 40 fires > 300 ha burnt 75% of the area, while 216 fires < 25 ha burnt 3.4% of the area. Fires occurred under a wide range of weather conditions, but large fires were restricted to periods of high fire danger. Prescribed burning was a relatively unimportant cause of fires, and most (> 85%) of the area burnt in wildfires. Areas subjected to short fire return intervals should be considered for management interventions. These could include the re-establishment of extirpated fire-sensitive species, the clearing of invasive alien plants and increased precautions for the prevention or rapid suppression of future accidental fires.
Description: Copyright: 2008 OpenJournals Publishing. Licensed under Creative Commons Attribution license
URI: http://www.koedoe.co.za/index.php/koedoe/article/viewFile/134/139
ISSN: 0075-6458
Appears in Collections:Environmental management
Forestry and wood science
General science, engineering & technology

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