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Citation Information

Type Journal Article - American-Eurasian J. Agric. & Environ. Sci
Title Occurrence and Management of Wildfires in Northern Hhohho, Swaziland
Author(s)
Volume 13
Issue 9
Publication (Day/Month/Year) 2013
Page numbers 1195-1201
URL http://idosi.org/aejaes/jaes13(9)13/5.pdf
Abstract
A study was conducted to determine the status of wildfire and fire management practices in
Swaziland. The northern Hhohho region was used as a case study. Information for occurrence of fires was
sourced from MODIS fire alert system over a period of 12 months (August 2011 to July 2012). A proforma was
used to collect data on land tenure, land use and cover and fire management and suppression measures from
land users adjacent to 130 fire sites that were randomly selected from the case study area. Climatic data (rainfall
and wind) were obtained from local weather stations. A total of 1,779 fires were recorded over the 12 months
period in the whole country and 50% of the fires occurred during the months of August and September. The
majority of fire spots (58%) were found in private land as opposed to 42% found in communal land. A
significant difference for fire intensities (confidence levels) was observed for forest plantations and cultivation
as well as for forest plantations and grazing ( < 0.05). Honey hunters were the main causes of wildfire, with
29% of the fires attributed to them. This was more prevalent in the forest plantations though some forest
plantations provided forest scouts to assist honey hunters to extract the honey, in an effort to reduce the
incidents of wildfires. About 56% of wildfires were not suppressed and they caused the maximum possible
destruction. The forest plantations had trained fire brigades and yet the rural communities did not have such
and they laced incentives to manage fires, especial when the fires were in adjacent private farms.

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