07.08.2018. Following WRI/UMD Glad fire warnings in the very South of the IFO Forest Management Unit (FMU) Ngombé, in the Republic of Congo, a joint IFO-PROGEPP field mission took place from 29 June to 5 July 2018.
The mission was led by the PROGEPP coordinator in Ngombé, representing the Ministry of Forest Economy and was carried out by IFO staff accompanied by PROGEPP eco-guards.
The team established that the fire broke out South of the FMU, on the border with a neighbouring concession, which gave IFO permission to use one of the its old plantation roads to reach the exact spot, located some 10 km away from the road.
Burnt traces of Macaranga and Marantaceae vegetation, typical of open-canopy, dry forests resulting from historical fires, indicated that the recent fire, now extinguished, dated back to one or two months, along an area of about 2 km2. This would confirm WRI’s analysis, which had detected the fire between mid-March and mid-June 2018.
As to the origin of the fire, the presence of machete cutting traces could be an indication of human intervention.
Thanks to WRI’s alerts, continuous satellite fire detection effectively integrates the IFO-PROGEPP ongoing fire monitoring flights that regularly take place across the whole surface of the FMU that IFO manages.
Early fire detection is integral to the ‘Fire risk prevention and management’ procedure that IFO implemented to ensure the safety of the local communities and employees likely to work throughout the FMU as well as protection of wildlife and forest services.