Fuel Properties of Vegetation in Swartboskloof
The fuel properties of natural vegetation, and their dynamics, influence the occurrence of fires to a large degree. They also govern the nature of fires, and therefore, to some extent, their effects. Ecologists are interested in fuel properties for a variety of reasons. The most important of these are to reconstruct a plausible fire regime under which the biota evolved and to which they are currently subjected, as well as to provide the necessary inputs for predicting fire behaviour under a variety of weather conditions. Such predictions, combined with an understanding of how fire behaviour determines the response of the biota, are a powerful means of enhancing vegetation management through the use of fire. Fynbos is regarded as a highly flammable vegetation type (Kruger and Bigalke 1984). Despite this, little is known about the fuel characteristics of fynbos and how they affect the spread and intensity of fires.
KeywordsFire Regime Fuel Load Fire Behaviour Fuel Property Crown Fire
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