The assessment of fire history in plantations of Mpumalanga North

Van der Sijde, J. H. R. (Jan Herman Robert) (2003-12)

Thesis (MScFor) -- Stellenbosch University, 2003.

Thesis

ENGLISH ABSTRACT: Fire is a threat to all forest plantations. As a result, growers are forced to take active measures to reduce the incidence and extent of fires in their plantations. This thesis is an attempt to collate 846 fire records for eight Komatiland Forests (KLF) plantations in Mpumalanga North for the period 1950 to 1999. Up to now, these reports and the information therein, were not utilised by KLF for planning or for evaluating fire management practices. The only other studies in South Africa, using similar data, were conducted by LeRoux (1988) and Kromhout (1990). A brief background of the forestry industry in South Africa, and in particular Mpumalanga is presented. The main text of the report covers a presentation on fire causes, extent of damage (both in area and in Rand value) and various aspects related to time of ignition and response times. A detailed analysis was done to identify possible relationships between the variables related to compartment, climate and different fire suppression activities. A cause and frequency prediction model was developed that will assist fi re managers in identifying and determining probabilities of fires per cause. Statistical guidelines regarding the planning of fire management around fires caused by honey hunters, lightning, work-related factors, and the activities of people (public, own labour, contractors) are presented. Conclusions were drawn from the results of the analyses of the fire data, which covered a period of 47 years. Recommendations regarding guidelines for strategic fi re management for the Mpumalanga North plantations were made. The main conclusions are: • Statistics on previous fires are very useful in fire management planning as it supplies valuable information on fire causes, time of ignition , past performance related to response times, fire fighting times and damaged caused. • • • • The average area lost due to fires in the study area is 209.9 ha or 0.43% of the plantation area per annum. People-related fires (arson, smokers, picnickers, children and neighbours) caused most of the wild fires (48%), followed by lightning (22%). Some plantations performed poorly, with the occurrence of up to double the number of fires per 1 000 ha of plantation compared to other plantations in the same geographic area. There are definite patterns in the frequency of fires per cause with month of the year. These patterns are valuable for the development of strategies to manage fires caused by honey hunters, lightning fires and work-related fires.

AFRIKAANSE OPSOMMING: Brande is 'n bedreiging vir aile bosbou plantasies. Dit is dus noodsaaklik dat kwekers maatreeHs tref om die voorkoms en omvang van brande in plantasies te beperk. Hierdie tesis poog om 846 vuurverslae se inligting te ontleed ten opsigte van agt Komatiland Forests (KLF) plantasies in Mpumalanga Noord vir die tydperk 1950 tot 1999. Tot op hede is min van die inligting wat in die verslae vervat is deur KLF vir beplanning- en evalueringsdoeleindes ten opsigte van brandbestuur gebruik. Die enigste soortgelyke studies wat op brandverslagdata in Suid-Afrika gedoen is, is gedoen deur Le Roux (1988) en Kromhout (1990). 'n Kort agtergrond oor die bosbouindustrie in Suid-Afrika en spesifiek Mpumalanga word gegee. Die tesis gee 'n oorsig oor brandoorsake, skade wat deur brande veroorsaak word (oppervlakte sowel as finansieHe waarde) en verskeie aspekte rakende brandbestuur soos tyd van ontstaan en reaksietye. Data is volledig ontleed om moontlike verwantskappe te probeer vind tussen vak-, klimaat- en brandbestuursveranderlikes. 'n Oorsaak- en frekwensievoorspellingsmodel is ontwikkel wat brandbestuurders sal help om waarskynlikhede van brande per oorsaak te identifiseer. Statistiese riglyne ten opsigte van bestuursbeplanning vir weerligvure, brande deur heuninguithalers, brande as gevolg van plantasiewerksaamhede en ook brande deur mense (publiek, eie arbeid en kontrakteurs) is daargestel. Brandrekords wat oor 'n periode van 47 jaar gestrek het, is ontleed. Afleidings wat uit die resultate gemaak is, kan benut word om riglyne daar te stel vir strategiese brandbestuur in Mpumalanga Noord plantasies. Die hoof gevolgtrekkings is: • Statistiek van vorige vure is baie nuttig in brandbestuursbeplanning aangesien dit waardevolle inligting verskaf oor brand oorsake, tyd van ontstaan, historiese werkverrigting rakende reaksietye en blustye, sowel as skade wat veroorsaak is. Die gemiddelde oppervlakte beskadig in die studie area is 209.9 ha, of 0.43% van die plantasie oppervlakte per jaar. Menslike aktiwiteite (brandstigting, rakers, piekniekvure, kinders en vure van bure) het die meeste brande veroorsaak (48%), gevolg deur weerlig (22%). Sommige plantasies het swak gevaar en het tot soveel as dubbel die aantal vure per 1 000 ha plantasie gehad in vergelyking met ander plantasies in dieselfde geografiese gebied. Daar is duidelike patrone gevind in die frekwensie van brande per oorsaak oor maande van die jaar. Hierdie patrone is nuttig vir die ontwikkeling van bestuurstrategie vir brande wat veroorsaak word deur heuningversamelaars, weerlig en werkverwante aktiwiteite (plantasieaktiwiteite).

Please refer to this item in SUNScholar by using the following persistent URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10019.1/53616
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