There is no existing global database of informal settlement fires. Due to this global lack of data, it is difficult to gain an overview of the frequency and human impact of fires.
The IRIS fire project is working towards a fire detection method using remote sensing as a first step towards the compilation of information on these fires. In the meantime, we have begun collating news reports of informal settlement fires in the global online English language new media to give an overview of the global extent and human impact of these fires.
By having an idea of the number of informal settlement fires per year in Cape Town versus what we see in the media, we know that the problem of informal settlement fires extends far beyond what is reported in English language web news media, in Cape Town and most probably elsewhere too.
This data therefore most likely only highlights the most newsworthy fires.
If you know of any news reports of fires that are not listed here, please let us know.