Fuel and fire characteristics in savanna-woodland of West Africa in relation to grazing and dominant grass type

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Fuel characteristics, fire behaviour and temperature were studied in relation to grazing, dominant grass type and wind direction in West African savanna-woodland by lighting 32 prescribed early fires. Grazing significantly reduced the vegetation height, total fuel load, and dead and live fuel fractions whereas plots dominated by perennial grasses had higher values for vegetation height, total fuel load and the quantity of live fuel load. Although fire intensity remained insensitive (P>0.05) to any of these factors, fuel consumption was significantly (P =0.021) reduced by grazing, rate of spread was faster in head fire (P =0.012), and flame length was shorter in head fire than back fire (P =0.044). The average maximum temperature was higher (P

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