Wildfires Facts

Wildfires Facts
Wildfires are a type of fire that occur in a variety of regions such as forests, deserts, grassy plains or other areas with combustible vegetation. It is believed that wildfires began to appear approximately 420 million years ago when terrestrial plants first appeared on earth. The wildfires that occurred throughout history are believed to have had a major impact on evolution due to their effects on flora and fauna. Wildfires can have many different ignition causes and characterizing the type of wildfire is done by taking into account the cause of ignition, the physical properties of the fire, the type of combustible material being burned, and the effects that the weather is having on the wildfire itself.
Interesting Wildfires Facts:
The main natural ignition sources that can cause wildfires include sparks from rock falls, volcanic eruptions, spontaneous combustion, and lightning strikes.
Humans cause wildfires to start as well. This can occur when humans are careless and discard cigarettes, or when they deliberately set fire (arson).
Wildfires can also occur from power-line arcs, sparks from a variety of types of equipment, from hot rifle bullets, from slash and burn agricultural practices, overgrowth of flammable grasses due to over-logging, abandoned military weapons and artillery, and campfires that are left unattended.
Wildfires require three elements in order to start. There must be oxygen, fuel, and a heat source.
Wildfires can burn in different ways. Ground fires, crawling or surface fires, ladder fires, and crown, canopy, or aerial fires are the main types of burning patterns used to characterize a wildfire.
A ground fire occurs when buried organic material burns or smolders and can burn for months.
A crawling or surface fire occurs when low lying vegetation provides the fuel for the fire. Vegetation includes grass, debris, shrubs, and timber litter.
A ladder fire occurs when the wildfire is consuming everything from the low level vegetation up to the tree canopies.
A crown, canopy, or aerial wildfire occurs when the material suspended at the canopy level burns.
Wildfires are extremely dangerous because they can be uncontrollable and can grow to an enormous size, destroying everything they come into contact with, such as homes, other buildings, and landscape such as forests.
Although wildfires can occur at any time of year they are most common in the warmer months.
To stop a wildfire from continuing to spread firefighters try to deprive the fire of its fuel, which can be accomplished by clearing the vegetation or soaking it with water so that it will not burn. Sometimes firefighters must do controlled burns in particular spots to get rid of the fuel (vegetation) before the wildfire itself arrives. This can sometimes choke off the wildfire.
Wildfires have a purpose in nature. They return nutrients to the soil from the burned vegetation. They also effectively remove the dead and decaying soil that is not helping the vegetation to grow.
Wildfires help to kill off harmful insects and diseased plants and allow the ecosystem to return to a healthy state as new growth appears.


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