An Historical Review of Research on Fire in South Africa

  • J. D. Scott
Part of the Ecological Studies book series (ECOLSTUD, volume 48)


“While it is true that scientific writers have endeavoured to inform the public of the manifold evils following the wake of fire, it is equally true that but little scientific experimentation has been brought to bear upon the problems connected with the periodic fires that sweep through vast areas of Africa” (Phillips 1930). Even though this statement was made in 1930, the advent of fires in the landscape was by no means a new phenomenon. Fire had been a factor of ecological importance long before the colonization of the sub-continent (Hall, this volume, chapter 3). The records of the earliest European explorers testify to this. According to Sim (1907), Vasco de Gama named the southern African sub-continent “Terra de Fume” because of the pall of smoke which covered the land.


Fire Behaviour Control Burning Fire Research Grassland Fire Burning Investigation 
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© Springer-Verlag Berlin · Heidelberg 1984

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  • J. D. Scott

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