Fire has been used by Man to burn vegetation since early times. Originally used as a primitive hunting method to flush out wild animals, it has been developed in modern times as a veld management tool to promote vegetation growth trends (e.g. promoting grass veld, removal of alien vegetation), assist with water conservation, and the clearing of land for cultivation purposes. Unfortunately, it has also been used for criminal elements for purposes causing much death and destruction. With current global warming concerns, harsher environmental conditions, droughts and subsequent water restriction, and commonly occurring large scale devastating fires all over the world, there is every reason to believe that wildfires are here to stay for many years to come.
This series of articles hopes to make the reader more aware of the various aspects of wildfires, and will cover aspects of fire ecology, how fires start and spread, education and awareness, wildfire management, how the general public and landowner can assist, wildfire investigations, and the financial implications of runaway fires.