Factors Influencing Fire Extent and Frequency in the Bale Mountains National Park

By Kasahun Abera With Financial Support from Frankfurt Zoological Society (FZS), European Union (EU) and British Embassy in Addis Ababa.

Factors Influencing Fire Extent and Frequency
Published 2009 This publication was made possible by the support of the Frankfurt Zoological Society, the European Commission and the British Embassy

Compiled by: Kasahun Abera, and Dr. Anouska Kinahan, Frankfurt Zoological Society, Bale Mountains Conservation Project, Bale Mountains National Park, Ethiopia

http://www.fzs.org http://www.balemountains.org

Disclaimer: This document has been produced with the financial assistance of the European Union. The contents of this document are the sole responsibility of the Frankfurt Zoological Society and can under no circumstances be regarded as reflecting the position of the European Union.”


1. INTRODUCTION ............................................................................................................. 4 2. MATERIALS AND METHODS .......................................................................................... 6 2.1 THE STUDY AREA ..................................................................................................................... 6 2.2 DATA SOURCES ....................................................................................................................... 7 2.3 IMAGE PREPARATION ............................................................................................................... 9 2.4. DATA ANALYSIS ...................................................................................................................... 9 2.4.1 Fire Frequency and Extent .......................................................................................... 12 3. RESULTS ..................................................................................................................... 13 3.1 FACTORS AFFECTING FIRE FREQUENCY AND EXTENT .............................................................. 15 3.1.1 Vegetation.................................................................................................................... 15 3.1.2 Soil Type ...................................................................................................................... 19 3.3.3 Altitudinal Belts ............................................................................................................ 21 3.1.4 Distance to roads ......................................................................................................... 23 3.1.4 Distance to settlements ............................................................................................... 25 4. DISCUSSION ................................................................................................................ 27 5. REFERENCES .............................................................................................................. 30


072 to 3. 2000). if managed. 2008). The increase in population growth has lead to increased land fragmentation which is posing a pressure on the remaining forest patches of the country.. al. pulling up the total area of burnt forest from 1. The 2000 fire incidence in the Bale ecoregion is one of the worst fires in Ethiopia with extreme fires occurring also in 2007/2008 dry season. Introduction As defined in the Global Fire Monitoring Centre (GMFC) wild land fire management terminology document.159 ha. wild fires and expansion of agricultural fields are the causes for forest destructions in Ethiopia.000 ha (Table 1). a total of 12. A fire occurring in any ecosystem has the potential to cause disastrous social. After seven years. whose forest resource was estimated to be 40% of the total land cover a century ago. degrade and reduce the availability of natural resources (Giri and Shrestha 1999). ecological.747 ha (Belayneh et. fuel wood and charcoal production. Wild fire and agriculture are however some of the major causes (MOA. al. Unwise forest resource uses such as timber extraction. Forest is disappearing at an alarming rate. Ethiopia.5% forest cover (MOA. 825 ha of land were burnt in the Bale Eco-region.1. 4 . in 2000. It is human induced fires which are usually set for the preparation of new agricultural plots and collection of wild honey that are the predominant causes of fire. and economic impacts resulting in the loss or transformation of habitat. from which the land burnt in BMNP account for 10. 2000). fire is a simultaneous release of heat.1996). is now left with only 2. conversely uncontrolled fires can devastate. a fire can help improve ecosystem functioning. which in turn affects biodiversity and triggers carbon dioxide release and global warming (Lymberopoulos et. 2000). the loss of natural forests due to fire is recorded to be more than 95. In 2008. Fires have both advantages and disadvantages. light and flame generated by the combustion of flammable materials. According to the GFMC the number of fire occurrences in Ethiopia has increased from 4 to 20 between the years 1990 and 1993. Most of the present day forest loss is attributed to uncontrolled burning practices (IUCN.

distance to roads and distance to settlements influence the occurrence and area affected by fire. thereby enabling mitigation measures to be developed. Forest fires which are set by people to collect wild honey and preparing land for agriculture are also creating damage to the Harenna forest of BMNP (GMP. Source: Anteneh Belayeneh and Temesgen Yohanis (2008) 5 . It is aimed that these findings will facilitate the development of a fire management plan for the park by identifying fire hot spots and their key factors. altitudinal belt. As a result developing a fire management plan for the park has been identified as a priority activity in the GMP. However. in recent times the influence of man made fires has posed a serious threat to the parks ecosystem particularly to the Erica forest and shrub land. In this study we used remote sensing and GIS technologies in particular Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectrometer (MODIS) to map the extent and frequency of fire in the BMNP. month. In order to be able to do this a detailed fire assessment examining fire extent and frequency as well as factors which may influence the occurrence of fire needs to be investigated. 2007). Figure 1: Fire in Goba Woreda near to the North east boundary of the Park.The Bale Mountains National Park (BMNP) which is one of the 34 Conservation International biodiversity hot spots has been encountering both natural and man made fires through out history. Specifically we examined if vegetation and soil type.

The Bale Mountains. 6 . it has also 78 mammal and 282 bird species from which 31(58. BMNP has 1600 plants from which 160(10%) are endemic to the country.200 km was established in 1971 by the then Ethiopian Wildlife Conservation Organization.8 million ton carbon stored in the Harenna forest park (Watson et al. are part of the 34 International Conservation Biodiversity Hotspots and is on the tentative list for world heritage site listing.7%) respectively are endemic to Ethiopia. The Park with its large altitudinal range (1500m to 4377asl) has the largest piece of Afro alpine habitat in Africa and holds the second largest moist tropical forest in Ethiopia. Materials and Methods 2. It plays a vital role in carbon storage with 45. It is also known by its rich flora and fauna resources. The park which covers 2 2.1 The study area The Bale Mountains National Park is found in the Oromia regional state of Ethiopia. It lies in 39°28’ to 39°57’ longitude and 6°29’ to 7°10’ latitude.4%) & 16(48. The afro alpine ecosystem of the park is a source for more than 40 streams and seven major rivers which support about 12 million people living in the lowlands from Ethiopia to Somalia and Kenya. 2008). The park also holds 40% of Ethiopian medicinal plants. from which the park got its name.2.

Figure 2: Location of Bale Mountains National Park 2. Terra (Launched in 18 December 1999) and Aqua (launched in 4 May 2002). Each product tile contains the following components: • • Per-pixel burning information The approximate day of burning (1-366) or 0 (no burning detected) 7 . This product has a 500m spatial resolution (Laboda. The 36 spectral bands of MODIS fall under three spatial resolution classes.2008) was used for this study as this was as far back as the appropriate images went for this area. Nine years of MODIS data (2000. It is a monthly product which is obtained by processing combined MODIS – Terra and MODIS – Aqua 500m (from 2002) land surface reflectance data. The product defines for each 500m pixel the approximate day of burning.2 Data Sources Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectrometer (MODIS) level 3 burned area products and a 2. Each tile has a fixed earth location. two bands (band 1& 2) have 250m resolution. This study used MODIS Level 3 Monthly Tiled Burned Area Products which are identified as MCD45A1.5 m resolution SPOT Image acquired May 14th of 2008 were used for this study.nasa. In addition ground truthing fire data collected in the park was used to verify and calibrate the MODIS images.7) have 500m resolution and the rest of the 29 bands (bands 8-36) have a 1km spatial resolution.gsfc. five bands (bands 3. The SPOT image was provided by Planet Action. et. covering an area of approximately 1200 X 1200 km (10 X 10 degree at the equator).gov).1 MODIS Scanners and MCD45A1Product Description MODIS is a 36 band instrument which has two sensors. 2.2. 2006) It is produced in the standard MODIS land tile format in Sinusoidal projection. The MODIS MCD45A1 product was downloaded from NASA MODIS Fire and Thermal Anomalies Project /University of Maryland/ website (http://modis-fire. al.

Australia. This gives a maximum of one observation per geolocated pixel per day. MODIS observations labeled in land surface reflectance product are rejected. Measurements in the seven MODIS land surface reflectance bands (bands 1-7) are corrected for atmospheric effects. snow. Because of the BRDF model incorporated in the algorithm. and water observations may remain. The MCD45A1 product is produced based on abi-directional reflectance (BRDF) algorithm model. 2006). bad quality. bad quality or cloudy data. high aerosol. Siberia and South America (Roy et al. These data provide good quality observations of the land surface. The MODIS algorithm is defined to map burned areas has been developed and demonstrated in southern Africa. Mandatory and product-specific metadata This product is known to have a better spatial (500m) and spectral accuracy for mapping the spatial extent of burnt areas. including aerosols (Vermont et al. high solar zenith (>65°). 1998) and all high view zenith (>65°). The algorithm developed works in such detail process that. The algorithm maps the spatial extent of recent fires (last 90 days) and not of fires that occurred in previous season or year.e. and non-land. the product is generated from time series of daily 500 m MODIS land surface reflectance data. 2002). The near infrared and 8 . 2002. cloudy. snow.• • • Codes to indicate no decision due to persistent missing. MODIS bands that are sensitive and insensitive to biomass burning are used to detect changes due to fire and to differentiate them from other types of change respectively. The algorithm developed for the product is characterized through the use abi-directional reflectance (BRDF) model based change detection approach which detects the approximate date of burning by locating the occurrence or rapid changes in daily MODIS reflectance time series. that is including both the previous and the following month) (NASA – MODIS Fire and Thermal Anomaly Website). Roy 2003). than AVHRR which has 1. the production of one month of MCD45A1 requires the availability of 90 days of daily MODIS data (i. These data are processed into daily geolocated files (Wolfe et al. Quality Assurance (QA) information.1Km of spatial resolution (Laboda et al. although shadow contaminated observations and a minority of cloud.

Miura et al. Those ambiguous detections are further tested using the BA pixel QA (burnt area pixel quality assurance) testing index. and band 7 reflectance changes relatively less (with both positive or negative changes observed). and for many days. Then the subset for the area of the park was extracted from the MODIS image as we did for SPOT image. 2005a) has shown that MODIS bands 5 [1230-1250 nm] and 2 [841-876 nm] provide the highest burned unburned discrimination and MODIS band 7 [2105-2155 nm] provides little discrimination. after burning. Bands 5. Generally this product show as the spatial extent of fire for the year we are concerned on. An analysis of the ability of the MODIS land surface reflectance bands to discriminate between recently burned and unburned vegetation (Roy et al 2002. this file format is not suitable to work on ArcGIS and Erdas Imagine softwares. 2. The MODIS MCD45A1 products came in Hierarchical data (. 2 and 6 [1628-1652 nm] reflectance decreases immediately.2 softwares were used to undertake this data preparation process.hdf file was converted to geotiff (.4. 2. Ranging from 1 (most confident) and 4(least confident) of detection. Indirectly the areas that have been entertaining burning for the days indicated on the product are identified. This image was geometrically and radio metrically corrected to remove topographic and atmospheric influences.tiff) file formats and the projection was reprojected to World Geological Survey 1984 (WGS 84) datum and UTM Zone 37N projection status using the MODIS reprojection tool. Erdas Imagine 9. The part of the image covering the park was extracted by masking the boundary of the park.hdf) file formats and Sinusoidal projection.1 and ArcGIS 9. The Projection is not also compatible for our database projection.longer wavelength 500 m MODIS reflectance bands are used because they are generally insensitive to smoke aerosols emitted from vegetation fires (Kaufman and Remer 1994. This condition might cause false detections.3 Image Preparation A mosaic of the four scenes comprising the park in the SPOT image was created to form one image. Hence the . Data Analysis 9 . Some surface changes not associated with biomass burning may exhibit similar spectral changes as those caused by fire. the result is a confident value of fire pixel detection. 1998).

Monthly data collected from MODIS were merged to create each fire season so that they could be analyzed independently.1999/2000 (incorporating Jan-May 2000 only). The GPS points were taken following the perimeter of a burnt area. A polygon of the burnt areas from these GPS points was then generated using XTools Pro (vector data management extension to ArcGIS). In this study therefore we had a total of nine fire seasons. and January-May in year t+1. Using these polygons as signatures the Spot image was then classified into burnt and non burnt areas. and c). Corresponding MODIS images were then overlaid on the classified 2008 image and visually assessed to ensure they overlapped as well as using the MODIS quality assurance data to ensure reliability of fire detection (see Figure 3a. A fire season was defined as October-December in year t. A total of 3097 GPS points of burnt areas in the park were taken from March-April 2008. b. 2000/2001. In order to validate MODIS images. 2001/2002 etc. 10 . up to 2007/2008. images from 2008 were used as well as the SPOT image and field data collected in 2008.

c Figure 3: Figure showing burned area polygons generated from field observations (a). b. burned areas from Classified SPOT 2008 Image (b) and overlaying of MODIS images onto Classified SPOT image and field polygons (c) 11 .a.

altitudinal belt and buffer were used. if this was the case one fire would be considered occurring in each of the vegetation types. When data was normally distributed a repeated measures ANOVA was used to determine differences between each of the classes in either frequency or extent. We then assumed that those that were burnt more than expected were brunt preferentially over other vegetation/soil types. If data was not normally distributed a Freidman’s repeated measure analysis was carried out. 12 . A Bonferoni’s confidence interval procedure (Neu et al.4. less or as expected given their respective areas available. For vegetation. Each fire season was then overlaid on different maps classifying vegetation and soil type. since the boundaries of other classes were generally easier to define. altitudinal belt and distance buffers to roads and settlements and frequency and extent were calculated as described above. 1974) was used to see if the frequency of fires occurring were in proportion to the area available. consequently each of the polygons therefore would also have a specific area burnt for each of those vegetation types occurring in that polygon. were burnt more. This gives an indication if vegetation or soil types etc.2. the dominant soil. Unlike vegetation. a number of different vegetation types could occur in one polygon..1 Fire Frequency and Extent The total number and extent of fires were calculated by counting the number of fire polygons in each of the MODIS fire seasons and determining the total area of each polygon.

however in more recent times it seems that relatively high incidences of fires are occurring annually (Figure 4). Results A total of 142 fire incidents were identified by MODIS Images between 1999/2000 and 2007/2008 fire seasons. Although fires occur in all years. N=9. burning accumulative total of 38.129 and 3. A similar phenomenon occurred in 2002/2003 and 2003/2004. Despite this. although the numbers of fires were the same the extent of fire was almost doubled in 2003/2004 compared to 2002/2003. Table 1: Fire Frequency and Extent for each fire season examined Year 1999-2000 2000-2001 2001-2002 2002-2003 2003-2004 2004-2005 2005-2006 2006-2007 2007-2008 Fire Frequency 7 30 4 20 20 7 16 17 21 Fire Extent (Ha) 544 6615 1285 3913 6129 1486 4221 4648 9309 13 .615 ha of park land were burned followed by 2007/2008 with 21 fires but covering only 9.9. 6.3. typically the extent of burnt area is positively correlated to the number of fires (r= 0. The highest number of fires occurred in 2000/2001 where 6.913 ha was burnt respectively.150 hectares (ha) of land in the park.83.01). P<0. in the early 2000’s we can see that generally high fire incident years were succeeded by low incidences.309 ha of land (Table 1).

figure 5 shows that this can be largely attributed to an anomaly occurring in 2000/2001 where a huge number of fires occurred in March. Table 2: Total number of fires and their extent in each month of the fire season Number Area Month of Fires Burnt(Ha) January 25 6325 February 12 3010 March 53 15683 April 10 1304 May 4 805 October 16 4053 November 11 4269 December 11 2701 14 20 07 20 05 20 06 20 02 -2 00 8 .35 30 25 20 15 10 5 0 00 1 2 -2 00 -2 00 3 _2 0 -2 00 Fire Frequency Number of Fires 4 5 6 7 -2 00 -2 00 -2 00 -2 00 20 01 20 04 20 03 20 00 19 99 Years Figure 4: Graph showing number of fire incidences between the years 1999/2000 to 2007/2008 Although March appears to be the month in which the largest numbers of fires occur and the biggest total area burned (Table 2). January. the middle of the dry season is the second most common month for fire incidences (Figure 5).

Erica shrub (N=54) and Shrub land (N=40) are the main vegetation types that were burnt the most frequently over the last 9 years (table 3 and figure 6).05). Helichrysum and Grassland (Post Hoc: P<0. Glade.1 Factors Affecting Fire Frequency and Extent 3.001) which was burnt significantly more times than Erica forest. However these differences in fire frequency are not significantly different between the vegetation types. Montane forest (N=63). except for woodland (F=33. N=8. P<0.76.1 Vegetation Woodland (N=92). 15 .1.30 25 Number of Fires 20 15 10 5 0 2000 January February March April May October November December 2001 2002 2003 2004 Years 2005 2006 2007 2008 Figure 5: Graph showing the number of fires occurring in each month for each fire season 3.

Generally. only.Table 3: Frequency of fires in dominant vegetation types through out the fire season YEAR 2000 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 ESH 1 8 0 6 16 1 3 5 14 54 MF 4 23 4 8 5 0 8 7 4 63 WL 6 27 2 15 12 4 8 8 10 92 EF 2 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 2 GLA 1 0 2 0 0 0 0 0 0 3 HEL 0 0 0 5 0 2 5 4 0 16 SHL 0 0 0 5 8 3 8 5 11 40 GL 0 0 0 1 0 4 0 5 3 13 Total 14 58 8 40 41 14 32 34 42 283 Tolal 30 Number of Fires 25 20 15 10 5 0 19 99 /2 00 0 20 00 /2 00 1 20 01 /2 00 2 20 02 /2 00 3 20 03 /2 00 4 20 04 /2 00 5 20 05 /2 00 6 20 06 /2 00 7 20 07 /2 00 8 ESH MF WL EF GLA HEL SHL GL Years Figure 6: The number of fires in each vegetation types through out the fire season Bonferoni’s analysis shows that Erica Shrub was the only vegetation type to be burnt more then expected given its availability in the park and this was in 2004 and 2008. 16 . the other vegetation types were burnt less than expected with the exception of woodland which was burnt as frequently as expected given its total available area in the park (Table 4).

Statistical Analysis shows that there is a significant difference in the actual area burnt between the habitats (F1.075 ha and 8. Interestingly.001) with the proportion of Woodland being burnt significantly more than Erica forest. Helichrysum and Shrub land (Post hoc: P<0.3% and 31.316 ha of Grassland and 895 ha of Glades were burnt this was 24% and 19% of their total area available in 2000 thus the proportion of Grassland and Glades burnt is higher than Montane forest despite an overall larger area of Montane forest being burnt (Figure 7a and b). throughout the fire season even though only 3. these values should be treated with caution until further detailed and more frequent land cover change analysis has been carried out as the total area available for Woodland.6% of their total area remaining in 2008.05). P<0.5. However. P<0.125 ha respectively) (Table 5).Table 4: Bonferoni’s analysis result for fire in vegetation Veg EF ESH GL GLA HEL MF SHL WL 1999-2000 2000-2001 2001-2002 2002-2003 2003-2004 2004-2005 2005-2006 2006-2007 2007-2008 Total < < < < < < < < < > > > < < < < < < < < < < < < < < < < < < < < < < < < < Although woodland had the most number of fires occurring over the past 9 years it is Montane forest followed by Erica shrub which have had the greatest area burnt though out the fire season (13. 17 .001) with Montane forest being burnt to a greater extent compared to all other habitat types except Woodland where no difference occurred (Post hoc: P<0.8= 6. Grassland and Erica shrub have all increased from 2000-2008 (Table 6) as opposed to decreased as for all other vegetation types. N=8.93. Similarly a difference occurred between the proportion of vegetation types burnt (F= 26.05). This is 15.

7 9.3 11.Table 5: Extent of fire by vegetation type (ha) Year 1999-2000 2000-2001 2001-2002 2002-2003 2003-2004 2004-2005 2005-2006 2006-2007 2007-2008 Total EF 2 660 5 113 648 54 35 45 284 1845 ESH 1 499 1 415 3049 286 353 446 3076 8125 GL 0 114 35 379 979 492 154 493 671 3316 GLA 0 285 134 35 108 29 60 163 81 895 HEL 0 0 0 301 399 121 917 670 201 2610 MF 7 2740 1437 2003 1664 3 2107 1485 1628 13075 SHL 0 2 1 305 894 260 507 515 700 3183 WL 4 1418 71 513 1665 472 333 686 1576 6739 Table 6: Proportion of total area burnt as compared to area of vegetation in 2000 & 2008 Vegetation Total Area Vegetation Total Area Proportion Proportion Exten (ha) Burned Extent (Ha) Burned Burnt(%) Burnt (%) 2008 (Ha) 2000 (Ha) 23933 23670 13360 4557 21998 95232 35379 5360 1845 8125 3316 895 2610 13075 3183 6739 7.3 24.9 13.9 26.0 125.5 Vegetation Type EF ESH GL GLA HEL MF SHL WL 3500 Extent of Fires(Ha) 3000 2500 2000 1500 1000 500 0 19 99 /2 00 0 20 00 /2 00 1 20 01 /2 00 2 20 02 /2 00 3 20 03 /2 00 4 20 04 /2 00 5 20 05 /2 00 6 20 06 /2 00 7 20 07 /2 00 8 EF ESH GL GLA HEL MF SHL WL Years Figure 7a: Extent of fire in vegetation through out the fire season 18 .6 11.3 17.6 14.6 12.6 31.7 34.8 19.7 4658 25682 23196 5079 21809 85265 26679 25448 1845 8125 3316 895 2610 13075 3183 6739 39.0 15.

Proportion of Area Burnt(%) 16 14 12 10 8 6 4 2 0 19 99 /2 00 0 20 00 /2 00 1 20 01 /2 00 2 20 02 /2 00 3 20 03 /2 00 4 20 04 /2 00 5 20 05 /2 00 6 20 06 /2 00 7 20 07 /2 00 8 EF ESH GL GLA HEL MF SHL WL Years Figure 7b: Proportion of vegetation burnt through out the fire season 3.146 ha) (Table 7a).1.001). Chromic Vertisols. The total area burnt in Chromic Luvisols is significantly higher than all others (P<05) (Figure 9). P<0. Chromic Cambisols. 19 . df=8. Pellic Vertisols (Post hoc P<0. There is a significant difference between the number of fires and the extent of fires occurring in the different soil types (χ2 = 50. Eutric Nitisols.910 ha).2 Soil Type Over 50% of the total number and extent of fires since 1999/2000 occurred in Chromic Luvisols (N=72. In addition Bonferoni’s analysis shows that indeed Chromic Luvisols are generally burnt more frequently than expected given its proportional area (Table 8).28. 10.05) (Figure 8). with Pellic Vertisols being the second most frequent soil type burnt (N=37. 19. Dystric Histisols. Eutric Cambisols and Eutric Fluvisols had all significantly fewer fires than Chromic Luvisols.

4 324 3397 0 201 4172 0 10146 Percent 0 52 1 1 9 0 1 11 0 27 Figure 8: Graph showing Mean + SE difference in fire frequency among the different soil types. 20 .Table 7: Frequency and extent of fires with soil types through out the fire seasons SoilType Chromic Cambisols Chromic Luvisols Chromic Vertisols Dystric Histisols Eutric Cambisols Eutric Fluvisols Eutric Luvisols Eutric Nitisols Orthic Luvisols Pellic Vertisols Number of Fires 0 71 1 2 16 0 1 14 0 37 Percent 0 50 1 1 11 0 1 10 0 26 Ha 0 19687 223.

followed by altitudinal belts 1750-2249 and 3200-3500 (N=25) (table 10) 21 . Table 8: Bonferoni’s test of fire frequency usage among different soil types Soil Type 1999-2000 2000-2001 2001-2002 2002-2003 2003-2004 2004-2005 2005-2006 2006-2007 2007-2008 TOTAL Chromic Cambisols < < < < < < < < < < Chromic Luvisols > > < > > Dystric Histisols < < < < < < < Eutric Cambisols < < < < Eutric Fluvisols < < < < < < < < < < Eutric Luvisols < < < < < < < < Eutric Nitisols < < < Orthic Luvisols < < < < < < < < < < Pellic Vertisols < > 3.Figure 9: Graph showing Mean + SE difference in the Extent of fire among the different soil types.3.3 Altitudinal Belts Most fires occurred within the 3500-4377 altitudinal belt (39%. N=55).

Altitudinal Belt <1500 1450-1749 1750-2249 2250-2749 2750-3200 3201-3500 3501-4300 Number of Fires 0 14 25 11 12 25 55 Fire Extent (Ha) 0 3608 6747 1975 3984 5518 16319 Percent (%) 0 10 18 8 8 18 39 Percent (%) 0 9 18 5 10 14 43 Statistical analysis shows that there is a significance difference in the frequency of fires among the different altitudinal belts (F61.05) occurred with altitudinal belts 3501-4377. 22 . P<0.05) with significantly more fires occurring in between 3501-4377 altitudinal belt compared to the other belts. where no difference occurs.05)(Figure 10 ) Figure 10: Graph showing Mean + SE difference in frequency of fires among the different altitudinal belts Similarly a significance different in the extent of fire occurring in the different altitudinal belts (F6156=4.P<0.56= 5. and significantly fewer (in fact no fires) occurring in the lower altitudinal belt <1449 m(Post Hoc: P<0.3201-3500 and 17502250 all having a larger area burnt compared to <1450 and 2750-3200 (Post Hoc: P<0.2.12.Table 9: Frequency and Extent of Fire by Altitudinal Belt.05)(Figure 11).

Table 10: Bonferoni’s test of fire frequency usage among different altitudinal belts Altitude 1999-2000 2000-2001 <1449 < < 1450-1749 < 1750-2249 < 2250-2749 2750-3200 3201-3500 3501-4300 < 2001-2002 2002-2003 2003-2004 2004-2005 2005-2006 2006-2007 2007-2008 TOTAL < < < < < < < < > < < < < < < < < < < < < < < < < < 3. with areas between beyond 15km from the road having fewer fires than those closer to 23 .05). generally both extent and frequency of fire decreased with an increase in distance from roads (Table 11). However. generally the number of fires occurring in each altitudinal belt were proportional to the area in each altitudinal belt with the exception of <1500M which was burnt far less than expect if fires occurred by chance (Table 10). P<0.Figure 11: Graph showing Mean + SE difference in the Extent of fire among the different altitudinal belts Bonferoni’s test shows that.2.48 = 3. there is a significant difference in the frequency of fires at different distance ranges from road networks (F51. Statistical analysis shows that.1.4 Distance to roads Fires occurred mainly in areas between 3-6 and 6-9km from roads.

however this is not significant (Figure 13).roads (Post Hoc: P<0.05) (Figure 12).9. Post Hoc: P<0. P<0. Table 11: Frequency and extent of fire with distance from roads Distance to Roads(km) Less than 3km 3-6km 6-9km 9-12km 12-15km 15-18km Number of Fires 34 31 31 27 7 12 Extent (Ha) 7077 11057 8972 7371 1640 2032 Figure 12: Graph showing Mean + SE difference in frequency of fire among the different distances ranges from roads 24 .05). A similar pattern can be also observed fro fire extent (F51136 = 2.05. with the exception of < 3km where the extent of fires is less than other distances.

40 = 4.05) (figure 14) no difference occured in the extent of fires at different distances (Figure 15). Statistical analysis show that although there is a difference between the frequency of fires at different distances (F41. Table 12: Extent and frequency of fire with different distance ranges from settlements Distance(km) Less than 3km 3-6km 6-9km 9-12km 12-15km Number of Fires 17 43 44 29 5 Area(Ha) 3454 12061 15261 6397 977 25 .6.4 Distance to settlements There frequency and extent of fires followed a normal distribution with the fewest number of fires and smallest extent occurring at the closest and furthest distance to settlements (see table 12).1. P<0.Figure 13: Graph showing Mean + SE difference in Extent of fire among the different distances ranges from roads 3.

Figure 15: Bar Graph showing Mean + SE difference in the Extent of fire at different distance ranges from settlements. 26 .Figure 14: Bar Graph showing Mean + SE difference in frequency of fire at different distance ranges from settlements.

2000).3% of fires through out the period. when unmanaged or overexploited it can have negative effects on the environment such as increasing soil erosion (Pardini et al.150 hectares occurred in the park.3%) and Grass Land (24.7%) followed by Erica Shrub (34. The general trend shows that large fires are generally succeeded by low fires. with highest number of fires and burned area. This has led to identifying the development of a fire management plan for the park as a key objective in the ecological management programme of the parks GMP. This suggests that people are showing a preference for burning Erica vegetation type over other vegetation types in the park. however a greater extent was burnt in Montane forest and Erica shrub than in woodland habitat type. (53 and 15683 ha respectively) occurring in March. Indeed a recent study identified that a primary reason for burning Erica was for the purpose of facilitating grazing (Belayneh and Yohanis 2008). Dry seasons (January-March) account for the 63. they are burnt as expected given their total area or even generally lower than expected for montane forest. Interestingly despite the high number and large extent of fires occurring in woodland and Montane forest. Woodland (125. Ethiopia.4. 2004). Erica shrub however has been burnt more than expected given its area available in the park. The highest number of fires occurred in Woodland. However. however in more recent times it can be seen that the number of fires are increasing continuously. has lost 87.8) has the highest proportion of total area burnt given its actual area available in 27 . Proportionally. and identifying fire hotspots within the park is important. Discussion Although fire can have positive impacts on ecosystems. As a first step in developing this fire management plan. then the highest number of fires generally occur in January. understanding factors influencing the occurrence of fire. it van be seen that if we exclude the large fires in 20002001. Since 1999-2000 a total number of 142 fires burning 38. Bale Mountains National Park is a park which is frequently burnt and often to a great extent.5% of its forest within the past century. the majority of which is as a result of wild fire (MOA. This study applied GIS and Remote Sensing Technologies to map the extent and frequency and the possible influencing factors of fire in the park. Montane forest and Erica shrub respectively.

31. It is not surprising that Chromic Luvisols and Pellic vertisols are shown to be the dominant soil types burnt both in number and frequency. none of the altitudinal belts appeared to be burnt more frequent than expected given there available area. accessibility and distance to settlements are the main factors influencing the occurrence of fire in the park. where few fires have occurred in the past nine years. 28 . and 14.5%. Current park law enforcement occurs in the northern gaysay part of the park only (see figure16)..l).1%. The drastic increase in the size of woodland (hence decrease in proportion of burnt area) could be attributed to increasing trend of new clearings for agriculture in the Montane forest.3% respectively. The greatest numbers of fires occurred between 3-9km distance from settlements In summary.s. It is aimed that the information provided in this study will facilitate in the development of a fire management plan. This study suggests that while fires occur throughout the park. However. examining distance to roads and distance to settlements.2000. However. The frequency of fires occurring from distances to settlement follows a normal distribution with fewer fires occurring close to settlements and at far distances from settlements. From these its is only Chromic Luvisols that are shown to be generally burnt more than expected given their available area. In the past and presently no law enforcement occurs in any other area in the park including fire hot spot areas (figure 16). our study suggests that vegetation. with a greater number of fires occurring closer to the roads compared to further away. both appear to influence fire frequency but not extent. given their respective area in 2008. The highest attitudinal belt was shown to have the most and greatest extent of fires occurring (35001-4300 m a. This suggests that altitude does not influence people’s decisions to burn. scouts should be deployed in the fire hot spot areas (focusing in Erica habitats) in the middle of the dry season (January) and that engaging the communities in and around the park will be integral in managing the occurrence of fire in the park. since they are the dominant soil types for Erica Shrub and Montane forest respectively. Where as this proportion has changed to 26.

Current boundary Proposed new Boundary Modis fire incidences (20002008) Current area patrolled Fire hot spots 29 .

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