Essay On Fire Ecology

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2.4 Characteristics of veld fire
Fire is characterized by its behavior, ecology and chemical composition.

2.4.1 Fire ecology
Fire ecology is the study of the ecology and the historical role of fire and the effect that fire has on the environment, ecosystem, animals and plants (Ecological society of America 2002). Fire ecology examines the role of fire in ecosystems. Its aim is to study the origins of fire, its influence on the spread, intensity and fire relationship within an ecosystem. Besides human activities related to urban living and agricultural production, fire is the most widespread ecological disturbance in the world (Komara 1971). Africa is considered to be the fire continent because of the widespread occurrence of biomass burning particularly in the savannah. Goldammer and De Ronde (2004) stated that in most areas of the summer rainfall in south of Sahara particularly in savannah biomes, fires are mainly caused by lightning and humans.
2.4.2. Fire behavior
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When heat (just over 160 degrees Celsius) is applied to a fuel in the presence of oxygen, fire will be produced (Heikkila, 1993). Oxygen, fuel and heat are necessary elements for a fire to start, removing one element make it possible to extinguish fire. The air constitutes of 21% of oxygen and this oxygen promotes burning, when oxygen is reduced to 15% a fire is extinguished. Veld fires are primarily controlled by focusing on the fuel. The drier the fuel the more ready it is for burning. In order to ignite a fire, fuel must be brought to its ignition temperature (Heikkila et al 1993). This means that if heat falls below the ignition point, the fire goes out. Water is the most effective agent for this reduction of heat. Veld environment influences the behavior off a fire. The three elements (oxygen, fuel and heat) interact with each other to set fire behavior at a specific point and time. As oxygen, fuel, and heat changes, the behavior

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