During the dry season Kasanka has a very high fuel load due to the tall, very dry, grasses found in the park. Fires may be caused by natural events such as lightning, but in the main fires are set by humans. Poachers are usually the culprits as freshly burned grasses will show fresh green shoots after a few days which attracts the animals. Late dry season fires can be very destructive as not only do the grasses burn, but also the trees and other vegetation.
In order to counter this, the Park operates a fire management strategy which involves so call early (in the dry season) burning where the grasses burn, but not the trees. By burning large areas quickly not much scope is left for the poachers to attract wildlife to small areas. The entire early burning program takes about 6 weeks.
In addition there are several fire exclusion zones which have firebreaks in order to protect special areas. We work with a team of Zambians to do the controlled early burning throughout the park. As the grasses can be up to 2m tall some spectacular fires result.