Repeat of High Intensity Burn Near Afsaal in Sept 2013

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Bushcraft
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Re: Repeat of High Intensity Burn Near Afsaal in Sept 2013

Post by Bushcraft » Tue Sep 03, 2013 11:06 am

KNP TO APPLY THE HIGH INTENSITY PRESCRIBED BURN

The Kruger National Park (KNP) Scientists and Rangers in conjunction with Working on Fire teams will apply the high intensity prescribed burn in the southern part of the Park on 2-3 September 2013. The teams will start with what is called a multiple spiral ignition today at 15:30 and then perimeter ignition tomorrow, also in the afternoon. Some parts of the gravel roads will temporarily be closed during the burn; in order to completely allow the ignition to end.

“The aim of this fire treatment is to determine the desirability and feasibility of researching with high intensity burns to address bush thickening at selected areas in the KNP. The data analysis indicated that we have the most suitable weather conditions to conduct the treatment around this period in September,” indicated the GM: Communications and Marketing - KNP, William Mabasa.

Gravel roads to be closed will be: S112 and S118 on 2 September; and parts of S23, S113, S114 and H3 which will affect routes towards the Jock of the Bushveld, Afsaal Picnic Spot, Gardenia bird hide, Lukimbi Private Lodge and Biyamiti Bush Camp) on 3 September 2013.

“The areas around the target sites will be cleared to ensure animals are safe and ground teams to guide tourists on alternative roads will also be available at the affected roads”, concluded Mabasa.

This is a follow-up on a high intensity burn which took place in 2010. In preparation for this year’s treatment, prior vegetation surveys were conducted such as sampling the vegetation before and after the fire treatment, collecting of data a year after the burn to look at re-growth responses, plot work – recording of all woody vegetation, information such as species, height, diameter and number of stems etc; assisting in giving an indication of the amount of fuel that is available to burn.

....Ends

Issued by:
Communications and Marketing Department - Kruger National Park, Contact: Tel: 013 735 4262, cell: 082 807 1441 or email: laura.mukwevho@sanparks.org

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Bushcraft
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Re: Repeat of High Intensity Burn Near Afsaal in Sept 2013

Post by Bushcraft » Tue Sep 03, 2013 11:08 am

If I had booked Berg-en-Dal for example for these dates I would be highly excited. 0= 0= 0=

I wonder if all were informed when booking O** O** O**
Last edited by Bushcraft on Tue Sep 03, 2013 4:21 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Repeat of High Intensity Burn Near Afsaal in Sept 2013

Post by Flutterby » Tue Sep 03, 2013 3:50 pm

I doubt that people were told. -O-

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Re: Repeat of High Intensity Burn Near Afsaal in Sept 2013

Post by PennyinSA » Tue Sep 03, 2013 5:06 pm

Any news whether this burn was actually started or no? Another question, if I may ask, was the high intensity burn in 2010 the first of its kind and how does it compare to other controlled burns that have taken place in the Park over many years?

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Re: Repeat of High Intensity Burn Near Afsaal in Sept 2013

Post by Flutterby » Tue Sep 03, 2013 8:02 pm

Just saw this on the KNP FB page:
Stephens Ledwaba posted toSANParks - Kruger National Park :Just an update on the High Intensity Fire Experiment. We have started burning from 13:00 and up to so far the fire has been well managed. The Working on Fire team has been doing a great job in assisting our Scientists and Rangers to implement the plan accordingly.

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Re: Repeat of High Intensity Burn Near Afsaal in Sept 2013

Post by Richprins » Tue Sep 03, 2013 8:19 pm

PennyinSA wrote: Another question, if I may ask, was the high intensity burn in 2010 the first of its kind and how does it compare to other controlled burns that have taken place in the Park over many years?
The 2010 burn was absolutely the first man-made one of its kind there, Penny!

Other controlled burns have been subject to a strict rotational policy over many decades, low intensity, carefully monitored etc. Part of rangers' jobs. Over the last decade or so, this regimen fell foul to "purposely started fires" by illegal immigrants and even tourists, so those blocks were skipped as per the adapted schedule. :-)
Please check Needs Attention pre-booking: https://africawild-forum.com/viewtopic.php?f=322&t=596

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Re: Repeat of High Intensity Burn Near Afsaal in Sept 2013

Post by Richprins » Fri Sep 06, 2013 7:53 pm

The burn happened...both days...article in today's paper, but just the same press release!

Certainly not the 30-30-30 conditions of last time...

Methinks they should have waited for that, but are now caught in a web of media and promises made etc...

But 0()
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Re: Repeat of High Intensity Burn Near Afsaal in Sept 2013

Post by Richprins » Mon May 02, 2016 8:51 am

A revisit of the issue by Mr Nigel Fernsby, previously Vice Chairman of the Ornithological Association of Zimbabwe (OAZ)





Some years ago I was rebuffed when I approached both Birdlife South Africa and the Endangered Wildlife Trust about opposing the amount (or all) of the destructive ‘hot burning’ that is carried out in much of the summer rainfall regions of Southern Africa (including the Kruger National Park) in the dry season of May through to November. This burning, done by modern man, turns the habitat that is burnt into immediate black desert – despite that it is temporary desert, until the rains arrive to enhance some grass growth. This temporary desert becomes inert ground, too hot by day and too cool by night and too excessively dried out for the soil structure to be a ‘living organism’ as it should be. There is no food supply for almost all nature under those temporary desert conditions, and no cover or nesting material; the soil is very prone to erosion and losses of fertility, and water penetration and retention in the soil are depleted. Trees are killed by the fires, and a gradual longer term desertification sets in when the practice is repeated on a relatively frequent cycle, as proves to be the case. There are so many hazards with this form of grassveld and bushveld management that, with my background, I had felt compelled to campaign against these reckless destructive burning practices.



I know that there are academics who have studied the hot burn system, and there are some who swear by it, and are paid to promote it. But fortunately two timely bits of recent research in the KNP now reveal, and wholly support, some of the facts of my campaign against these Hot Burn methods that I, and others, see as coming from a contrived form of science.



Firstly, researcher, Tercia Strydom, as reported in SAN Parks Times (Autumn Edition, March 2015, page 18), has found, through her field research trials, that following burning on both basalt and granite soils, that water penetration into the soil is reduced where the habitat has been burnt – ie better water intake into the soil on unburnt conditions, meaning, also, that there is less run-off of rain water when not burning. This is not a surprising research trial’s result as agriculturists – farmers, soil chemists and agronomists – have known this soil / moisture phenomenon for six or more decades, but many ‘so-called ecologists’ have been in denial on this – they insist on burning! But be assured, there are many well informed environmentalists who abhor the burn regimes! From reading this article on page 18 (not written by Tercia Strydom), it is impossible to understand why SAN Parks ever conduct any fire regimes at all, other than to be totally bloody minded to burn fires! There are so many contradictions against burning regimes mentioned in the article! They obviously get the feeling they have to show they are doing something to earn their keep when burning the bushveld – there is no other valid explanation.



The other point of research comes from the two primed very hot burns carried out in the Afsaal area of Kruger in 2011 and 2013. These results, as noted from the SAN Parks Times, (Winter Edition, June 2015, page 27) and backed by Dr Freek Venter and Dr Izak Smit, state that “Biologically speaking, one or two high-intensity fires were not found to be a quick solution for woody encroachment. While there was a major reduction of slow-recruiting tall trees, short ones quickly recovered to their pre-fire condition. Furthermore, the researchers found that “repeated, cooler fires did not open the landscape at all during this trial. In fact, recovery was so quick that one growing season after the fire the landscape was denser than before and very comparable to an area that did not burn at all”. And then, alarmingly, it continues “In four years and after two high-intensity fires, 35% of tall trees were removed from landscape where the experiment was conducted”. N. B. Not only were ‘35% of tall trees removed’, but also ‘there was a major reduction of slow-recruiting tall trees’, and yet the thickets continued.



The above information is what I was telling Birdlife and the EWT some years ago through gathered information and from my personal bush experiences, mostly in Zimbabwe . I had informed the Kruger General Manager of Conservation, midway through the KNP Hot Burn trials, that the trials would produce very similar results to their eventual findings. The moral of the story from the above is; is it the Elephant or Fire that is destroying most of the big tall trees? Uninformed persons, in rash statements, are too keen to put all the blame on Elephants!!



So, from the consequence that the hot burn objectives are a dismal failure in what they were set out to achieve, and that they broadly damage the environment, I conclude that there is no logical ecological future for support of desert causing Grassveld and Bushveld dry season hot burning, and contend that concerned NGOs should voice their opposition to, and their rejection of, these destructive burn practices. – That would, indeed, be ‘Turning Kruger Green’.



A ‘side-show tragedy’ emanating from these fires is the casualty level of Wildlife from the first Afsaal trial hot burn fire. The general public reported at least one White Rhino with scalded flesh hanging off its body (photo in Saturday Star) and the observation of tortoises ‘exploding’ from the heat. It did not come as a surprise that requests to SAN Parks for casualty figures from the two fires were promised but never honoured.



After all, burning is nothing about Conservation – it is blatent destruction. Who would burn the compost and leaf-mould in their own garden? That is the parallel!
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Re: Repeat of High Intensity Burn Near Afsaal in Sept 2013

Post by Puff Addy » Mon May 02, 2016 9:04 am

Thanks for this! :ty:

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Re: Repeat of High Intensity Burn Near Afsaal in Sept 2013

Post by Lisbeth » Mon May 02, 2016 9:24 am

Personally I always hated these fires, but thought that they were useful (apart from the animals that get caught in the fire :-( ) Now another source says that they are extremely damaging. Who to believe -O-
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