Fighting Fire with Fire
2013-02-20 11:35:05

In African savannahs, or grasslands, wildfires can either be destructive or beneficial. It all depends on when those fires occur.(1)
在非洲草原、 或草原,野火,或者可以是破坏性或有益。这一切取决于这些火灾发生时。

Scientists at the World Agroforestry Center have developed a system to determine the best time to set the savannahs ablaze.(2)

Savannahs stretch across many parts of Africa. But scientists concentrated their research on grassland conditions similar to the Sahel and South Sudan.(3)

When wildfires spread uncontrolled, the heat and flames can cause damage on several levels.(4)

“Many components of the ecosystem can be affected.(5)

The biodiversity itself, the soil composition and structure and gas emission and greenhouse gas emission into the atmosphere,” said Cheikh Mbow, senior climate change scientist with the World Agroforestry Center in Nairobi, Kenya.(6)
生物多样性本身、 土壤成分和结构和气体排放和温室气体排放到大气中,"说谢赫 Mbow,高级气候变化科学家与世界农林中心在肯尼亚内罗毕。

“Fire is seen as one of the biggest drivers of deforestation in some ecosystems.(7)

And it contributes widely to the reduction of the ecosystem services, which [are] the basis of most of the livelihoods in Africa in poverty conditions.(8)
它广泛有助于减少生态系统服务,其中 [是] 大多数在非洲贫穷状况的生计的基础。

So we are worrying about fire because of the many impacts and implications for the human beings.”(9)

Fires in savannahs are common.(10)

“If you look at African images from [a] satellite in the dry season, it appears that most of the ecosystem, which has some level of dryness, will have fires on a regular basis.(11)
"如果你看看非洲的图像从 [] 卫星在旱季,似乎大部分的生态系统,具有某种程度的干燥,将定期有火灾。

There have been many attempts in the past, since colonial time actually, to, sort of, ban fire in our ecosystem, but they never succeeded.(12)

They never succeeded because fire is a tool,” said Mbow.(13)
Mbow 说: 他们永远不会成功因为火是一种工具,"。

Fire is used as a tool by local populations, for instance, when they’re gathering honey, clearing land or desiring new vegetation growth.(14)
使用火作为一种工具的当地居民,例如,当他们正在收集蜂蜜、 清除土地或希望新的植被生长。

Mbow says nearly all of the fires in the savannahs are caused by humans. Nature plays a very small role.(15)
Mbow 说: 几乎所有的草原的大火由人类引起的。性质作用很小。

“The conditions in which natural fire can occur [are] when lightning happens, for instance.(16)
"可能出现的自然火灾条件 [是] 当雷电发生时,例如。

In Africa, when lightning happens in these tropical areas that’s a period during which we have rain. It’s wet.(17)

When it’s raining, that’s the time we have lightning, and it’s very unlikely that when it’s raining fire can take place,” he said.(18)

With climate change, he said, there’s concern the savannahs will become even more dry, making destructive wildfires much more likely.(19)
随着气候变化,他说,有关注草原将成为更多干、 制作破坏野火更有可能。

That’s why scientists at the World Agroforestry Center and their partners developed a system to pinpoint the best times to intentionally set fires. It’s known as early burning.(20)

It consumes layers of biomass before they build-up to highly combustible levels. Efforts to prevent fires altogether can actually make things worse.(21)

“If you protect this area for five years, let’s say, or 10 years, you’ll have a dangerous amount of biomass.(22)
"如果你保护这方面五年来,让我们说,或 10 年,你就会有危险的生物量。

Fire not only consumes the biomass, it also destroys all the characteristics of the ecosystem, which makes this ecosystem viable.(23)

I’m thinking about microorganisms in the soil, small animals. So it’s a bit dangerous to over protect the ecosystem,” he said.(24)
我想到在土壤中,小动物的微生物。他说: 现在真的是有点危险,对保护生态环境"。

So an early burn, Mbow said, needs to be done when the conditions are just right – not too wet or not too dry.(25)
所以烧伤早期,Mbow 说,需要条件时刚刚好 — — 不太湿或太干了不做。

Fires intentionally set at that time not only consume the biomass, but prevent dangerous fires later in the season.(26)

“There are many factors in determining fires. The one factor is the grass moisture, but also the grass load. The biomass load is extremely important.(27)

The second important factor is the atmospheric parameters – air temperature and wind. And the third one is the topography.(28)
第二个重要因素是大气参数 — — 空气温度和风。第三个是地形。

If you are in heavy conditions, it’s very risky sometimes to use fire. As they go uphill they become stronger and very difficult to control.(29)

So there are many, many aspects which should be in consideration. And there is no silver bullet or one-size-fits-all situation.”(30)
所以有很多、 很多方面,应考虑。没有银弹或一刀切的情况"。

The early burns are generally fast moving and stay mainly on the surface. They cause only minor damage to trees, soil nutrients or microorganisms.(31)
烧伤早期一般快速移动,主要是停留在表面。他们只有轻微损坏树木、 土壤养分或微生物。

The recommendations for controlled fires in African grasslands can be found in the February issue of the Journal for Arid Environments.(32)
控制在非洲草原火灾的建议可以在干旱环境的日报 》 2 月问题中找到。

Mbow said that he hopes African governments will consider implementing them. However, he added, few countries on the continent currently have resources for fire management.(33)
Mbow 说他希望非洲各国政府将考虑实施它们。不过,他补充说,在非洲大陆上的少数几个国家目前有消防管理的资源。

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