Fire season will be considerably higher for many Amazon forests (Science Daily)

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Amazon Forest Fire Risk to Increase in 2013

June 7, 2013 — University and NASA researchers predict that the severity of the 2013 fire season will be considerably higher than in 2011 and 2012 for many Amazon forests in the Southern Hemisphere. The outlook is based on a fire severity model that produced a successful first forecast in 2012.

The model, produced by a group led by Jim Randerson of the University of California, Irvine, considers historical fire data from NASA’s Terra satellite, along with sea surface temperature data from NOAA. Previous research has shown that sea surface temperatures in the tropical Pacific and Atlantic oceans can be used to forecast the pending Amazon fire season severity three to six months prior to the onset of the dry season.


Wildfire effects (Science Daily)

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Climate Change and Wildfire

May 21, 2013 — Concerns continue to grow about the effects of climate change on fire. Wildfires are expected to increase 50 percent across the United States under a changing climate, over 100 percent in areas of the West by 2050 as projected by some studies. Of equal concern to scientists and policymakers alike are the atmospheric effects of wildfire emissions on climate.


DESIRE Project to combat desertification (VIMEO)

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The DESIRE project – the challenge and the results.


The second version of the DESIRE film shows not only the global problem of desertification, but also shows what the DESIRE project has done about it and the huge potential this project can have in future attempt to fighting desertification through the unique DESIRE approach.

Fires and Dust (Google / Earth Snapshot)

Read at : Google Alert – images of the Africa Drought

Fires and Dust in Drought-Stricken West Africa

Dust and smoke mix together over West Africa, creating a hazy veil that obscures much of the ground below. Click here for previous images of the fires and here for previous images of the dust storm.


Conflict between pastoralist communities amid an already serious food security crisis (IRIN News)

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KENYA: Conflict fears as wildfires destroy pasture, cause displacement

ISIOLO, 20 March 2012 (IRIN) – Wildfires have destroyed large tracts of grassland in northern Kenya, giving rise to fears of conflict between pastoralist communities amid an already serious food security crisis.

“In the areas we have managed to visit, the loss of vegetation is large, at least 20,000 hectares,” said an officer with the Kenya Forest service in the town of Wajir, who asked not to be named because he was not authorized to speak publicly. He said an overall assessment to establish the total level of destruction had yet to be conducted.

According to Mohamed Wako, an elder, tension is rising along the Isiolo, Garissa and Wajir borders with residents accusing each other of causing the fire.

A Wajir resident, Ibrahim Mohamed, said the fire is suspected to have been started by a cartel of traders who are hoping to secure aid agencies’ and government contracts to supply fodder in the region. A fortnight ago, residents of the Habaswein area of Wajir barricaded a road to prevent trucks ferrying hay, accusing the truck owners of being behind the inferno.

The districts of Wajir North, South and West are the most affected with the fire spreading to parts of neighbouring Isiolo. “The wildfire which broke out last month but was stopped, started again two weeks ago and burnt more areas we have not visited… Extensive rangeland has been affected,” the forest officer said.

“We have lost a number of livestock, mainly calves, weak and sick animals that were not able to move quickly,” Adan Dualle, a Wajir resident told IRIN, adding: “Two people burnt by the fire are still at Wajir District Hospital.”

Some herders have been forced to migrate further north towards Moyale with some crossing the border into Ethiopia. “We are already faced with a shortage of pasture. While we had enough just last month, I am afraid the situation will be worse if it fails to rain,” said Dualle.

At least 500 families from the Biyamadow, Dadachabulla and Sarif areas have been displaced and forced to move to neighbouring districts, he added. A further 150 families had also been forced to flee from Berami Villlage to the Bute and Buna areas, according to a Wajir North District resident, Hussein Nurow.

Food insecurity

The fire (cause unknown) is fast spreading in Isiolo’s Merti and Garbatulla areas, according to officials.

“We are unable to control the fire,” said Diba Golicha, chairman of the Rangelands Users Association in Merti. “The government should give us helicopters or planes to fight this fire. It’s spreading fast and getting close to Marsabit [north of Isiolo]. We also want this matter be investigated.”

The cause of the fire is being investigated and more resources being mobilized to ensure that it does not spread further and damage infrastructure, according to the upper eastern regional commissioner, Isaiah Nakoru.


Recovery from Forest Fire in Chile (IPS)

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Recovery from Forest Fire Could Take 80 Years

By Pamela Sepúlveda

SANTIAGO, Jan 23, 2012 (IPS) – “It’s extremely serious, a full-blown environmental catastrophe,” environmentalist Sara Larrain told IPS, describing the impact of the fire that has been raging through the Torres del Paine National Park in Chilean Patagonia since Dec. 27.

The flames, fanned by high winds, took hold in a remote, hard-to- reach area and ravaged 16,000 hectares of natural vegetation, which park authorities told IPS will take eight decades to grow back to its former state.

The zone is now on amber alert, following the forest fire red alert declared in late December by the interior ministry’s National Emergency Office (ONEMI) at the request of the state National Forestry Corporation (CONAF).

At least 200 workers are fighting the blaze in the affected area, including CONAF brigades, the armed forces and police. Volunteer “brigadistas” from Argentina, Brazil and Uruguay have also joined the cooperative effort.

The Torres del Paine National Park, one of Chile’s major natural resources and a spectacular tourist attraction, is located over 3,000 km south of the capital city in the province of Última Esperanza in Magallanes region, between the massif of the Andes mountain range and the semi-arid Patagonian steppe.

Its total area is almost 200,000 hectares. It was declared a World Biosphere Reserve by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO) in 1978.

The latest official report indicates that the fire has damaged native lenga or lenga beech (Nothofagus pumilio) and ñirre or Antarctic beech (Nothofagus antarctica) forests, matorral (shrubland) and steppe ecosystems. CONAF and tourist concession buildings have also suffered fire damage.


Forest fires damage (Science Daily)

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Reclaiming Land After a Forest Fire

ScienceDaily (Dec. 22, 2011) — Wildfires cause tragic losses to life, property, and the environment. But even after the fire rages, the damage is far from done. Without vegetation, bare, burnt soil lies vulnerable to erosion, which can impede efforts towards natural forest regeneration.


Is fire an enemy or a natural regulating factor of the ecosystem? (Science Daily)

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Repeated Fire And Drought: A Menace For Mediterranean Forests

ScienceDaily (May 19, 2009) — Is fire an enemy of Mediterranean forests or a natural regulating factor of the ecosystem? What is the effect of climate change on the interactions? Thanks to the IRISE1 program, coordinated by Cemagref, we now know that it is a question of frequency, itself related to the stock of organic matter which determines life in soil. The results obtained have created new possibilities for better management of the most fragile ecosystems.


Protecting the soil from erosion is vital for the quick restoration of the vegetation (Science Daily)

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Reclaiming Land After a Forest Fire

ScienceDaily (Dec. 22, 2011) — Wildfires cause tragic losses to life, property, and the environment. But even after the fire rages, the damage is far from done. Without vegetation, bare, burnt soil lies vulnerable to erosion, which can impede efforts towards natural forest regeneration.


A Video Visualization Of Earth’s Fires From Space ( Google / Fast Company)

VIDEO SEEN AT : Google Alert – images of the Africa Drought

BY Ariel SchwartzThu Oct 20, 2011


The virtual video tour was made with the satellite data that scientists use to gauge how fire distribution responds to both population growth and climate change. The biggest fires seen between 2002 and 2011–the time period examined in the tour–are in Australia (grassland fires), China (agricultural fires), Western Russia (forest fires and agricultural fires), Africa (grassland fires), South America (pastoral maintenance fires), and of course, the U.S.


Perennial bush burnings undermining government’s afforestation programmes (Google / Ghana News Agency)

Read at : Google Alert – desertification

Bushfires, herdsmen undermining government’s afforestation programme in UWR

Ghana News Agency

Tumu (UWR), Sept. 27, GNA – Mr. John M. Ocansey, Upper West Regional Manager, Forest Service Division of the Forestry Commission, has said perennial bush burnings and activities of Fulani herdsmen and their cattle were undermining government’s afforestation programmes in the area.

He said bushfires had destroyed 283 hectares of plantations that had been established in some communities in the Region last year.

Mr. Ocansey said that cattle belonging to the herdsmen destroyed 76.5 hectares of mahogany, mango and cashew plantations that were cultivated at a cost of 133,569 Ghana Cedis within the same period.

He was briefing members of the Parliamentary Select Committee on Lands and Forestry on progress of work on the National Forest Plantation Development programme in Tumu.

Mr. Ocansey said that group hunting by community members that involved the setting of fire to vegetation for game had also resulted in the destruction of the plantations and forest reserves in the area.

He said that 4,174 hectares of land had been put under forest plantations with the Ghana Plantation Development Programme cultivating 889 hectares, National Plantation Development Programme 1,046 hectares and National Forest Plantation Development Programme 2,239 hectares.

Mr. Ocansey said 2,380 field workers had been engaged by the Programme in 184 communities in all the nine districts of the Region and more than 2.6 million tree seedlings were planted last year.

He said the Programme planned to plant tree seedlings on 1,000 hectares of land this year and so far 746 workers had planted teak, eucalyptus, mahogany, cassia, grafted mango and cashew species on 700 hectares of land.



Wildfires and the future of men (Science Daily)

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Our Future Will Be Shaped by Fire

ScienceDaily (Sep. 14, 2011) — Wildfires are often viewed as major disasters, and there is concern that climate change will increase their incidence. However, it is difficult to consider the true impact of past or future wildfires without understanding their place in natural and human history.

Many economically damaging fires are caused by people, such as in the case of the recent summer riots, yet fire is also an essential part of many ecosystems in many parts of the world. In some areas, people routinely manage fire to achieve a variety of outcomes in forest, game and land management, such as Dartmoor where fire was the main method of clearing land and creating pasture.



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