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Fire frequency in the Western Cape First year progress report

Summary: Fire frequency in the Western Cape
First year progress report
Diane Southey
31 May 2007
This report is a summary of the work I have done in the first year of my masters. Each
section is briefly discussed and the key results are summarised.
I began my MSc looking at fire models with the thought of creating a fire spread model
for the Western Cape. This idea was set aside when I received the fire history records
from the Western Cape Nature Conservation Board, WCNCB, for their reserves. I began
an analysis of the determinants of fire size, but became frustrated with the lack of data for
proposed determinants. The project focus then shifted to an analysis of large fires and the
drivers behind the different definitions of large fires. This work produced interesting
results, but was put on hold for the past three months while I was at the Australian
National University, ANU. At the ANU I was introduced to the theory of fire frequency
distributions and this work has defined the methodology of my project.
Even though my project seems to have jumped around a lot in a year, each section has
added to my knowledge on the analysis of wild fires and has therefore been a valuable
experience. Armed with this knowledge I now approach the second year of my MSc with
a well defined project and more confidence. The objectives of this report are to
consolidate this knowledge and present a clear path that will take me to the successful


Source: Altwegg, Res - Avian Demography Unit, Department of Statistical Sciences, University of Cape Town


Collections: Environmental Sciences and Ecology