Community Research and Development Information Service - CORDIS


Wildland fire is one of the most potent means of shaping if not of modifying environmental conditions in the West African Sahel zone. It is the preferred land-use tool of arable and livestock farmers as well as hunters; but exploitation of fire in rural development schemes requires an understanding of its spatial and temporal dynamics. From satellite images of fires during a dry season in the upper Niger basin, an area of very diverse ecological conditions, it was possible to identify four major fire regimes determining fire behaviour according to the particular ecological conditions. Methods of quantifying the fire regimes are described and the results obtained using each method are evaluated. The most promising approach is based on the cumulative number of fire events in each ten-day period in relation to surface area, with addition of a weighting which increases as the dry season progresses.

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Authors: GRÉGOIRE J-M, JRC Ispra (IT)
Bibliographic Reference: Article: Secheresse, Vol. 4 (1993) No. 1, pp. 37-45
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