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2.3 West Moist and Central Africa Sub-Region

The fire situation in west moist and central Africa during the 1990s has been publicised in several cases. A unique research opportunity was provided by the Experiment for Regional Sources and Sinks of Oxidants (EXPRESSO) (Delmas et al., 1999) during which a satellite receiving station, capable of receiving NOAA-AVHRR data and detecting fires, was installed at Bangui, République Centrafricaine (Central African Republic). Data were collected for the 1993-1994 and 1995-1996 dry seasons. For the 1994-1995 dry season, a study by Eva and Lambin (1998) using satellite data estimated that just over 43 percent of the Sudanian savannahs and 58 percent of Guineo-Congolian Sudanian savannahs burned in the Central African Republic. This corresponds to an area affected by fire of 8.6 million ha and 19.1 million ha, respectively. The 1994-1995 dry season was considered to represent an average fire season (see country report on the Central African Republic).

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