Fires in Paraguay: 17 April 2000

Fires in Paraguay

17 April 2000

click here to enlarge (372 KB)

Fig.1. The above NOAA / AVHRR image shows the situation  in Paraguay,14 April 2000.
(Source: NOAA/OSEI)

General Remarks on Fire in Ecosystems of Paraguay

The main vegetation types affected by fire in Paraguay are dry and semi-humid Chaco (Chaco seco and semi-húmedo). The vegetation of the Chaco region is, a mixture of savannas, thorn shrublands and hardwood forests alternating in belts and patches. Evidence suggests that fire has been a natural component of the Chaco ecosystem for thousands of years. Indians used fire for warfare and hunting. In fact, “Chaco” means “a site for hunting” in the Quichua language. During the dry season large fires regularly sweep across the savannas and shrublands and on some occasions hit the hardwood forest that burn with high intensity. Tolerance of species to fire is mixed. The fire cycle is around 3-5 years in savannas. Some of the Chaco areas are “Palmares”, open palm stands with periodically waterlogged grass understorey which are fire adapted.

Despite the ecological adaptations to fire and the historic evidence of fire in the Chaco system, the increasing land-use pressure leads to more frequent fires. During exceptionally extended droughts such as the current one the fires cause considerable damage and spread to those places which normally do not burn.

For further information see also the Paraguay – Drought OCHA Situation Report No. 2 of 23 March 2000

Please also visit the GFMC archive where remotely sensed fire imageries can be found under “Brazil and Neighbouring Countries“.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email
WP-Backgrounds Lite by InoPlugs Web Design and Juwelier Schönmann 1010 Wien