In an effort to both help prevent larger subsequent wildfires, and to better understand the nature of emission products (gases and aerosol particles) from fires in Africa, prescribed burns are being set in some areas of Southern Africa during the SAFARI Field Experiment. In previous SAFARI campaigns, prescribed fires (like the one being set in these pictures) as large as 2,000 hectares (4,940 acres) were set in Kruger National Park, South Africa.
Another such prescribed burn will be set this Sunday, August 20, in Southern Africa by the international team of scientists participating in SAFARI 2000. Coincident with data acquired by the Terra satellite, the researchers will use ground-based instruments and sensors mounted on aircraft to measure the emissions from this fire, to measure the extent and severity of the burn scar, and to estimate how much biomass was consumed by flame. These experiment data are then cross-compared with data from the Terra satellite to help scientists validate and fine-tune its ability to measure the impacts of fire on climate and the environment on a global scale.