Wildfire Fuels Debate Over Land-Burning in Africa

Last October Madagascar’s Ibity Massif was engulfed in flames. The mountain is famous among botanists, because as many as 20 plant species found there grow nowhere else in the world.

Neither unique plants nor fire are unusual on Madagascar, an island nation off the southeast coast of Africa. An estimated 80 percent of the Madagascan flora is endemic. Fires, both natural and human-caused, have burned seasonally dry parts of the island with clockwork regularity for millennia.