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2013 (Vol. 5, Issue: 11)
Article Information:

Occurrence and Management of Wildfires in Northern Hhohho, Swaziland

A.M. Manyatsi and T. Mbokazi
Corresponding Author:  A.M. Manyatsi 

Key words:  Fire spots, land tenure, land use, wildfires, , ,
Vol. 5 , (11): 703-709
Submitted Accepted Published
August 30, 2013 September 10, 2013 November 20, 2013

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 (ρ<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 lacked incentives to manage fires, especial when the fires were in adjacent private farms.
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  Cite this Reference:
A.M. Manyatsi and T. Mbokazi, 2013. Occurrence and Management of Wildfires in Northern Hhohho, Swaziland.  Research Journal of Environmental and Earth Sciences, 5(11): 703-709.
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ISSN (Online):  2041-0492
ISSN (Print):   2041-0484
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