Côte d’Ivoire hosted a major fire research programme in 1991: The project “Fire of Savannas” (FOS/DECAFE) was part of the project DECAFE (Dynamique et Chimie Atmosphérique en Forêt Equatoriale). The overall aim of FOS/DECAFE was to investigate the contribution of gaseous and particle emissions from savanna fires to the regional and global emission budgets and to clarify the role of fire emissions on tropospheric ozone formation.
The interested reader will find the most important results of FOS/DECAFE in the two following publications:
Lacaux, J. P., J. M. Brustet, R. Delmas, J. C. Menaut, L. Abbadie, B. Bonsang, H. Cachier, J. Baudet, M.O.Andreae, and G.Helas. 1995. Biomass burning in the tropical savannas of Ivory Coast: An overview of the field experiment Fire Of Savannas (FOS/DECAFE ’91). J. Atmos. Chem. 22, 195-216.
Lacaux, J.-P., H.Cachier, and R.Delmas. 1993. Biomass burning in Africa: An overview of its impact on atmospheric chemistry. In: Fire in the Environment: The Ecological, Atmospheric, and Climatic Importance of Vegetation Fires (P.J.Crutzen, and J.G.Goldammer, eds.), 159-191. J. Wiley & Sons, Chichester, England.
Some snapshots from fires in Côte d’Ivoire (GFMC archive, by J.Goldammer):
Fig.1. Aerial view of a savanna fire approaching a forest in Côte d’Ivoire
Fig.2. Close-up of a burning savanna in which single trees, particularly palms, are intermixed
Fig.3. Villagers fighting a grass savanna fire approaching a forest
Fig.4. Remnant rainforest patch opened by logging and fire
Fig.5. Experimental fire conducted in the frame of FOS/DECAFE in 1991. The fires did not only attract scientists with all kind of measurement devices on the ground, but also the small research airplane (with emissions measurement equipment on board) and the local birds. These birds (Milvus migrans) show up as soon as a fire starts. They are ready for chasing small mammals fleeing the fire…
Fig.6. The fire got hot … rescuing fire research equipment…