Ireland - Six Wonders of the South East

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11) These communities are found on permanently waterlogged, wet, phreatic sites or seepage zones. Some representative communities of this type are found in the upper reaches of Swartboskloof where there is perennial free water but where forest communities have not developed. In the bottomland situations where they occur, perennial free water overrides the influence of the predominantly sandstone-derived substrate. Young individuals of forest tree species such as Cunonia capensis (Cunoniaceae) have been recorded at these sites but no forest development has occurred.

Map of Swartboskloof showing the advance of the fire front at 3-h intervals on 17 March 1987. The central portion (within the 24:00 line) was burnt on 18 March 1987. Stars (*) indicate positions where the fire was ignited using flares both wind and slope, to ensure control. Once the catchment had been "closed off" the upper reaches were ignited with flares but the burn was nevertheless slow and the central portion of the catchment had still not burnt when a combination of wind, topography, and increasing humidity saw the fire die out after 24:00.

4 Fuel Models Data on the fuel properties of vegetation are essential inputs into fire behaviour prediction models. Descriptions of the fuels of Swartboskloof were designed to meet the requirements for use in formal fire behaviour prediction models (Rothermel 1972; Kessell et al. 1978; Burgan and Rothermel 1984). The Rothermel model was designed to predict fire behaviour in a single continuous stratum of fuel contiguous to the ground. Fire behaviour predictions from the model are based on the physical and chemical makeup of the fuel and the environmental conditions under which it burns.

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