Large forest fires
1998, 245pp., paper, 110 figs. (incl. 12pp. of col. figs.), 30 tables
ISBN 90-73348-80-3 € 60
Fires may have been around on the Earth ever since the atmosphere was able to sustain a combustion, and vegetation ready to burn was available. Natural fires are common in many parts of the world and are an integral part of many terrestrial ecosystems. Fire has been, and is used by man as a management tool in his endeavours to conquer and use the resources of our planet, thereby also becoming closely linked to many other ecosystems. However, every now and then, large, devastating fires occupy the front pages of the media. On occasion, efforts to arrest such fires can do little but hope that the weather changes, evidencing how vulnerable many areas of the world are to this disturbance. A few fires are all that is needed to ruin years of effort in fire prevention and fire-fighting. Several large fires are all it takes to change landscape for many years. During 1993-94, several large fire episodes took place in several distant parts of the world, such as California, Southeastern Australia and Spain.
The present volume aims at deepening our under-standing of such phenomena by reporting on various aspects of some of those large fire episodes, complemented with contributions from the boreal region and the Mediterranean-type part of South Africa, two areas in which fires are also prevalent.
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