Fire control systems in forest reserves: an assessment of three forest districts in the northern region, Ghana
Document Type: Journal Article
Author(s): Rikiatu Husseini; Daniel T. Aboah; Hamza Issifu
Publication Year: 2020

Cataloging Information

  • Africa
  • fire control systems
  • firefighting
  • forest fires
  • forest policy
  • forest reserves
  • Ghana
  • International
Record Maintained By:
Record Last Modified: December 18, 2019
FRAMES Record Number: 60455


Forest fires may have beneficial effects ecologically, but can also be damaging to the overall health and diversity of flora and fauna and may also result in loss of farm produce and livelihood base of local communities living around the forest reserves. In order to minimize damage from fires to the forest vegetation, information on frequency, timing and control of fire events is needed for decision making at the district and regional management levels of the Forestry Commission. However, not much of such information exists, particularly for northern Ghana. Therefore, this research sought to ascertain occurrences of forest fires and how they are controlled in three (3) Forest Districts in the northern region of Ghana namely: the Tamale, Yendi and Walewale Forest Districts. Respondents comprised staff of Ghana Forestry commission, members of fringe communities and personnel from the Ghana National Fire Service. A mixed method research design involving structured interview schedule, in-depth interviews and quantitative review of secondary data was employed for data collection. Quantitative data was analyzed using descriptive statistics such as frequencies and percentages while qualitative data was analyzed using simple narratives. The study revealed that detection by smoke was the dominant means of detecting fires within the forest reserves. December and January were the months with the most fire occurrences and periods between 2 and 4 h and greater than 8 h were the dominant timeframes within which fires were controlled. Inadequate firefighting equipment and lack of effective cooperation between regulatory institutions and community members were identified as major constraints to effective control of forest fires. Active collaboration between regulatory agencies and members of fringe communities among others are recommended for effective control of wildfires in forest reserves in northern region of Ghana.

Online Link(s):
Husseini, Rikiatu; Aboah, Daniel T.; Issifu, Hamza. 2020. Fire control systems in forest reserves: an assessment of three forest districts in the northern region, Ghana. Scientific African 7:e00245.