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Scientists develop improved fire management tools for Africa's savannas
Date:2/14/2013

re and costing billions of dollars in damage.

Wildfires also threaten biodiversity, including many unique plants and animals found only on the continent. Many animals that dwell in trees, bushes, deadfall or underground perish from the blazes or succumb later from lack of food and shelter or increased predation. In Australia for instance, the koala is especially vulnerable to wildfires that consume the tree canopy, as the animals are slow-moving and do not use hollows, in which they could shelter.

"In Senegal, the lack of equipment and qualified human resources for firefighting make late-season fires an especially large threat. But the outcomes of this study especially the ability to reliably predict fire rate of spread and fuel consumption should allow better planning of fires based on desired characteristics in the future," said Mbow.

Fast-moving savanna fires generally remain on the surface, inflicting only minimal damage on trees, barely heating the soil below and leaving roots, nutrients and microorganisms unharmed. These frequent, low-intensity fires are what forest managers attempt to mimic in order to limit dangerous fuel build-up.


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Contact: Julie-Anne Savarit-Cosenza
julieanne@burnesscommunications.com
301-280-5720

Wambui Kamiru
w.kamiru@cgiar.org
254-734-623-016

World Agroforestry Centre
Source:Eurekalert


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