Fire behaviour in South African fynbos (macchia) vegetation and predictions from Rothermel's fire model.

Published online
25 Mar 1988
Content type
Journal article
Journal title
Journal of Applied Ecology

Wilgen, B. W. van & Maitre, D. C. le & Kruger, F. J.

Publication language
Africa South of Sahara & South Africa


In a study of 14 experimental fires in tall open sclerophyllous shrubland in 2 state forests, rates of spread ranged from 0.04 to 0.89 m/s, flame lengths from 2.8 to 7.0 m and fire intensities from 515 to 20 709 kW/m. Predictions from the Rothermel model were good for rate of spread and flame length but underestimated fire intensity where biomass and fire hazard were high. Rates of fire spread and intensity were greater than in Scottish heathland but equivalent to those in Californian chaparral.

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