Nyae Nyae Conservancy’s proactive community fire management
Over the last five years the Nyae Nyae Conservancy and Community Forest has actively managed and recorded fire incidents in their area. They took this step as a result of discovering that fire was causing more damage to the environment than over-grazing.
Fire was found to be having a major impact and in 2010, 50% on the 8,992km² area was devastated and burnt. They realised it wasn’t a once-off, but part of a worrying trend threatening livelihoods, lives and wildlife.
The current fires in Australia are a stark reminder of the damage that fires can cause and the danger of uncontrolled hot fires, according to the Conservancy, as climate change takes a hold across the globe, events that used to be rare, now become an annual or seasonal occurrence.
In recent years, the Nyae Nyae Conservancy has received professional help in mapping areas that are at most risk of fires and burning.
This controlled burning is carried out to reduce the chances of hotter fires later in the season destroying villages, precious forestry resources and wildlife.
The level with which fires can be predicted in relation to the mapping and whether and where they occur has been proved to be very effective, they added
Meanwhile last year was a perceived as a relatively ‘light’ year in terms of fires due to the lack of rain and therefore reduced growth of fuel for fires.
However, the end of 2019 brought much needed and wanted rains in this area and with the rainfall already being experienced in January, it will likely lead to 2020 being a year of high fuel growth and consequently a year with increased fuel reduction burning activities.
Meanwhile, the fire work in 2020 is being funded by EIF. These activities not only protect villages and saves their precious resources, but builds on the longitudinal data for this area and enables valuable lessons to be learnt and replicated in other areas where fires are a threat.
Caption: The map shows how an area around each village is marked and where there are red or orange pixels within the demarcated village area, these are prioritised for fuel reduction burning.