Fires in Kenya

Fires in Kenya

10 March 2008

Fire in Kenya’s Lake Nakuru National Park

In late February 2008, Kenya’s Lake Nakuru National Park suffered a majorblow when an accidental fire scorched a large section of the relatively small(188-square- kilometer) park. Located in central Kenya, the park is most famousfor the flocks of flamingoes that congregate to graze on the cyanobacteria thatthrive in the shallow, alkaline lake. But the surrounding marshes, woodlands,and savanna also provide habitat for some of Afrca’s famous large mammals,including white and black rhinoceroses, leopards, giraffes and lions.

The image below from the Advanced Spaceborne Thermal Emission and ReflectionRadiometer (ASTER) on NASA’s Terra satellite shows the large burn scar left by the February fire. The burned areais the large charcoal-colored patch to the east-southeast of the lake. The lossof such a large area of vegetation, which provides both food and shelter, isbound to pose problems for the park’s wildlife. The remaining dense vegetationappears in patches of green, while sparsely vegetated areas appear tan. The cityof Nakuru appears northwest of the lake.

7 March 2008

Click here to view high-resolution version (2.95MB)

(source: earth observatory)

For more information

  • Fires in Kenya (published in 4 January 2008)

See previous reports on fires inKenya:

Kenya: Endangeredrhino flee Rift Valley bush fires (published by,25 February 2008)
Kenya: Kenyanwildlife park bush fire rages for second day (published by,24 February 2008)
Kenya: Bushfire engulfs Kenyan wildlife park (published by,22 February 2008)
Fire and politics in Kenya (2003):
Fire situation in Kenya (2001):
Fire research in Kenya (1997-98):
GFMC photo archive Kenya (1997-98):

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