Wildfire

What Is A Wildfire?

 

Wildfires are some of the worst types of natural disasters to hit any part of the world.  However, the wildfires are uncontrollable and controlled also and usually start up in areas which are in the wilderness.  Some call these wildfires or refer to them as a forest fire, bush fire, brush fire and many other names. However, whatever they are referred as, they are dangerous and unpredictable also.

However, a wildfire does differ from other types of fire because of its sheer size.  Every fire is deadly but a wildfire is extremely dangerous and is another step up from other types of fire.  The size of a wildfire can be extraordinary and is very difficult to control also even with dozens of fire fighters working on the fires.

The speed of a fire can be quite fast also; and it does even have the ability to jump gaps.  These gaps such as rivers and even roads, the fire can actually jump to avoid this gap which is extraordinary and something which most other fires cannot achieve.  On almost every continent, with the exception of Antarctica, wildfires occur.  They are mostly found in Australia and in fact, Australia does have regular occurrences of wildfires and it is due to the summers being extremely hot and longer than most other countries.

The Four Risks

They are going to pose a huge risk on human life as well as property and landscape also.  These wildfires can occur at any given time of the year but more often in the hotter months such as spring and summer.  There are actually four main risks which can start a wildfire.

Lightning is a huge cause of fires starting but there are also spontaneous combustion, sparks from rock falls and even a volcano erupting can all cause a wildfire starting.  These things might not always occur every day of the week but when they do, they can be terrible and cause a lot of damage including starting a wildfire.

For the most part, arsonists are to blame; this and accidents are some of the other risks contributed with the breakouts of a wildfire. However, in some occasions, these fires can be small and extinguished if the fire is caught quickly and dealt with quickly also. This is the case for most wildfires and it is difficult to deal with the fire even if there are dozens of fire fighters working to stop it.

Some wildfires occur in forest areas and in some cases, dry land.  It can be very easy to start a fire up in these areas because they are many fuel sources to consume also.

brush fire information

Forest Fire in Russia

The Properties of Creating a Wildfire

Wildfire can be a devastating and terrible natural disaster to occur.  These uncontrolled blazes can be fuelled by almost everything including the wind, dry underbrush and even by property.  The wildfires can destroy everything that is in path within minutes, seconds possibly because these can get so out of control and so wild.

Across the world there have been thousand different wildfires that stretch vast and get out of control. Millions of acres of land have been destroyed because of the wildfires. A wildfire however can move at great speeds, it can in fact be almost fourteen miles an hour; and it can burn home, brush, trees and even living people and animals alike. Anything in its path can be destroyed.

The Conditions for a Wildfire Starting

  • Oxygen
  • Fuel
  • Heat Source

These are the 3 ingredients for a wildfire starting and burning.  Of course, everything needs oxygen and fires especially needs oxygen to burn continuously and they also need fuel.  Anything which is flammable, any material which is flammable that is, can be used as fuel.  This can be anything from homes, grass, brush, trees; almost anything that can be burned can be used as fuel.

If there is a greater fuel load, then the fire will intensify.  However, there is also a need for a heat source.  This helps to spark the fire and bring the temperatures up to a terrible heat and if it does reach a certain point, it could ignite a fire.  A heat source could be things such as burning campfires, hot winds, cigarettes being left in a dry area or even lightning.  Sometimes, the sun can offer enough heat to start a wildfire.

Human or Nature Causes?

Shockingly, most wildfires are going to be started by every day people and not often nature.  However, that doesn’t mean to say nature doesn’t have a helping hand in the starting of a fire.  If the weather is dry and if there has been a recent drought then it can all contribute to a wildfire starting and it does happen more and more today.

If the ground does dry up then crops can actually become a fuel source and if there are strong winds then it can make the fire out of control.  Winds can also spread the fire very quickly indeed and with hot temperatures forming it can contribute to combustion.  All of these things can create fires and it can be done by both human hand and by Mother Nature also.  It can be a combination of both, because if there is a drought and an area has become quite dry, then it takes one human act to ignite the flames.

It can be an arsonist, an accident with a cigarette or even a campfire.  A wildfire can even start because of a downed power line; and it just takes a second for ignition and another minute for the fire to become out of control.  Sometimes, these wildfires can last only a short period of time and sometimes it can be weeks and destroy hundreds of land in the process.

brush fire facts and information

Brush Fire in Portugal

Starving the Fire

There are many ways to help stop the wildfire from spreading.  Most fire fighters are going to deprive the fire of fuel by dousing land with water and clearing vegetation to help stop the fire from spreading further. Rarely, the fire can be slowed down completely or even contained but it does take a lot of work and many fire fighters also.

Strangely, those fighting the wildfires can often start controlled burning fires to help remove brush and litter and stopping fuel being added to the existing fires.  It mightn’t sound right but these are natural occurrences and actually play a part in nature because the fire returns nutrients into the ground and soil; in the process, old, decaying and dead soil is removed.  Yes, the wildfires are terrible things because they can cause a lot of devastation to homes and take lives but they are a part of nature.

They remove plants which may be diseased and stop insects which are harmful to the ecosystem.  It is strange as to how a wildfire can be in a way, something good for the parts of the ground which are dying because new plants and trees can be plants and grow there.

 

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