Forests in Ghana are increasingly being influenced by man-caused fires. Most of these fires have been blamed on farmers practicing slash and burn agriculture. In addition, many critics have assumed that farmers have very limited knowledge of fire management and therefore do not manage farming-related fires. A survey was conducted in eight communities in the forest transition zone to assess the perceptions of farmers on farming-related wildfire incidences, specific activities in farming associated with incidence of wildfires and coping measures being used by farmers to manage wildfires. Farmers in the studied settlements hold the view that there are presently certain cropping practices that are closely associated with wildfire incidence. These include early vegetable and yam cultivation whereby the burning of slash takes place between December and February when fire risk is high. The study also found that farmers have useful knowledge in wildfire management and are applying it to cope with the impacts of wildfires.
Some of the important coping strategies are farm maintenance practices, fire prevention education and precautionary measures during land preparation. Adopted measures by farmers need to be supported by research and agriculture extension to remove weaknesses in farmers’ efforts.