A third of Krugersdorp Game Reserve burnt to the ground

 
28 July 2017

published by http://krugersdorpnews.co.za


South Africa - The managers of the Krugersdorp Game Reserve were overwhelmed by the help they received from community members on Saturday, 22 July, when a large section of the reserve was engulfed in flames.

Jaco Geldenhuys, a manager at the reserve, said he did not expect that community members would go out of their way to ensure that the fire did not ravage everything in its path.

The fire, which started at about 11am, was fueled by a strong wind, and smoke could be seen from as far away as Randfontein and Cradlestone Mall.

Community Policing Forum patrollers from all sectors of Krugersdorp went to the scene to help beat the flames out. Then, after details of the incident were broadcast on their radios and on media networks, many volunteers rushed through the gates to see how they could help. Bakkies loaded with water tanks pitched up and extinguished parts of the fire. Community members who were driving by also stopped to help beat the fire out, using branches they found in the veld, and two men on motorcycles herded a number of antelope to an area that was not on fire.

After five hours of non-stop beating, most of the fire near the borders of the reserve was under control. The fire was all but out by 7pm that evening.

Fortunately, the flames did not reach the buildings on the reserve, and the outer fences also remained intact. However, some wooden fencing poles were burnt.

Almost a quarter of the reserve – more or less 500 hectares of grass – was burnt to cinders, destroying much of the animals’ food source.

“We aren’t worried about feeding the animals,” said Geldenhuys, “because we do winter feeding. We planned for a shortage of food. The plan will just be implemented sooner because of the fire.”

Management also wants to notify the public that some of the animals in the reserve had been sold on tender, prior to the fire, to prevent inbreeding and increase the gene pool of the herds. These animals will be transferred to another facility soon.

“This isn’t a desperate measure to save the animals, it was arranged many months ago,” Geldenhuys said. He went on to say the reserve is pleased to be able to report that none of the larger animals were injured during the fire.

Mogale City’s Municipal Manager reportedly visited the site to see how the municipality could help. They will also investigate the cause of the fire.

“It doesn’t help to speculate about the cause of the fire because these speculations are almost never conclusive,” said Geldenhuys.

“Right now we just want to thank every single person who came to our rescue. You didn’t just extinguish a fire, you saved the lives of more animals than you can even count. The kindness and willingness of the public may be unseen, but it is deeply appreciated, ” said Geldenhuys. “My faith in humanity has been restored.”

An international team of climate researchers from the US, South Korea and the UK has developed a new wildfire and drought prediction model for southwestern North America. Extending far beyond the current seasonal forecast, this study published in the journal Scientific Reports could benefit the economies with a variety of applications in agriculture, water management and forestry.

Over the past 15 years, California and neighboring regions have experienced heightened conditions and an increase in numbers with considerable impacts on human livelihoods, agriculture, and terrestrial ecosystems. This new research shows that in addition to a discernible contribution from natural forcings and human-induced global warming, the large-scale difference between Atlantic and Pacific ocean temperatures plays a fundamental role in causing droughts, and enhancing wildfire risks.

"Our results document that a combination of processes is at work. Through an ensemble modeling approach, we were able to show that without anthropogenic effects, the droughts in the southwestern United States would have been less severe," says co-author Axel Timmermann, Director of the newly founded IBS Center for Climate Physics, within the Institute for Basics Science (IBS), and Distinguished Professor at Pusan National University in South Korea. "By prescribing the effects of man-made climate change and observed global ocean temperatures, our model can reproduce the observed shifts in weather patterns and wildfire occurrences."



Read more at: https://phys.org/news/2017-07-atlanticpacific-ocean-temperature-difference-fuels.html#jCp
An international team of climate researchers from the US, South Korea and the UK has developed a new wildfire and drought prediction model for southwestern North America. Extending far beyond the current seasonal forecast, this study published in the journal Scientific Reports could benefit the economies with a variety of applications in agriculture, water management and forestry.
 

Over the past 15 years, California and neighboring regions have experienced heightened conditions and an increase in numbers with considerable impacts on human livelihoods, agriculture, and terrestrial ecosystems. This new research shows that in addition to a discernible contribution from natural forcings and human-induced global warming, the large-scale difference between Atlantic and Pacific ocean temperatures plays a fundamental role in causing droughts, and enhancing wildfire risks.

"Our results document that a combination of processes is at work. Through an ensemble modeling approach, we were able to show that without anthropogenic effects, the droughts in the southwestern United States would have been less severe," says co-author Axel Timmermann, Director of the newly founded IBS Center for Climate Physics, within the Institute for Basics Science (IBS), and Distinguished Professor at Pusan National University in South Korea. "By prescribing the effects of man-made climate change and observed global ocean temperatures, our model can reproduce the observed shifts in weather patterns and wildfire occurrences."



Read more at: https://phys.org/news/2017-07-atlanticpacific-ocean-temperature-difference-fuels.html#jCp