|Probably the most important of the early elements in terms of advancement in evolution. I could tell you how they actually invented the fire, I have proof on video. But boy, that's another one of those long Brom Productions Ltd. stories...|
This is a savannah grass fire in Ivory Coast, Africa. I took the picture during a field campaign in early 1991 somewhere between Abidjan and Bouake, in a place called Lamto reserve. I got as close as about 5 m to the fire and then had to step back, because my skin was starting to get so hot that it hurt. These fires are extremely intense, but just as quickly gone as they start. I could literally walk behind the fire and touch the ground only a few seconds after the fire passed. The ground was barely warmed up, which is the reason why the wildlife and flora of the soil survives these fires. Some rain permitted, new grass will grow only a few weeks later.
I have always been fascinated by fire, so I didn't hesitate when I was offered to investigate gas emissions from biomass burning for my Ph.D. Even today, though, I can keep staring into a camp fire for hours and watch the flames without ever getting bored.....
For some reason, many of my interests seem to be linked to my past/present/future work. This is also true for fire. I started my career by looking at gas emissions from burning vegetation, that's how I got to take the above photo. Anyway, here are a few links in case you're interested in more (to be continued):
Jürgen M Lobert / 31-Aug-2010