Kruger National Park Gears Up for The Upcoming Peak Fire Season

Industry & Government News

Kruger National Park (KNP) is implementing management plans of the winter fire season which usually takes place between June and October. Fires are a common and natural occurrence in KNP which is found within the Savanna biome (also referred to as Tropical Grasslands). And like the Fynbos biome (Cape Floristic Region), it is dependent on fires to keep the ecosystem functioning in a healthy manner. 


In KNP, sufficient grass coverage is required to sustain a fire which is highly dependent on how much rainfall the park received during previous summer months. Years with high rainfall leads to more grass growth and ultimately more area burned during the dry season. This past summer season saw less rainfall compared to the abnormally high rainfall experienced during 2022-2023. 


Unlike the previous fire season where we experienced more than 20% of KNP burning due to extremely high grass loads following exceptional rainfall, this year we are only expecting about 10-15% to burn. Due to a combination of techniques such as field reports from Rangers as well as advanced satellite mapping applications, the park is able to monitor these fires throughout the year.


KNP has been part of the Greater Kruger Fire Protection Association (FPA) for years, which allows for greater communication and administrative support for the use of fires as a management tool and to promote fire safety within and around KNP. Rangers teams started with controlled burning earlier in the dry season in order to break up the grass coverage and reduce the fire risk of larger wildfires later in the dry season. The teams have been burning firebreaks around infrastructure such as camps, entry gates, staff facilities and along the park’s boundary. Proactive fire management by reducing fuel load, burning firebreaks and preparing a well-trained and equipped team of personnel, in partnership with Working on Fire (WoF), allow management to be better prepared for this year’s fire season.