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Cape Fires Through History: Conservation Expert Simon Pooley Explains (Podcast)

Burning Table MountainSimon Pooley, author of Burning Table Mountain: An Environmental History of Fire on the Cape Peninsula, chatted to John Maytham on Cape Talk recently.

Pooley is a Research Fellow in Conservation Science at the Imperial College London. Burning Table Mountain is his postdoctoral study of fire on Table Mountain from the days of the original herders to the catastrophic fires of today.

According to Pooley, something called “fire stick farming” has been performed on Table Mountain for at least 100 000 years, in which the area is burned to encourage certain nutritious plants to come up. However, in those days controlling the fires was less of a problem for Khoi Khoi herders, although it did become a problem for the Dutch settlers.

Listen to the podcast:

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