Natural Disasters-Wildfire

Natural Disasters-Wildfire

Natural Disasters – Wild Fire

  • A wildfire is an uncontrolled fire that usually combusts in the wildland vegetation, often in rural areas.
  • Wildfires can burn in forests, grasslands, savannas, and other ecosystems and are not limited to a particular continent or environment.
  • Wildfires have the ability to burn vegetation located both in and above the soil.

Ground fires

  • Ground fires generally ignite in soil which is thick with organic matter that can feed the flames, like plant roots.
  • Ground fires can smoulder for a long time (up to an entire season) until favourable conditions become available for them to grow to a surface or crown fire.

Surface fires/ Crown fires

  • Surface fires, on the other hand, burn in dry or dead vegetation that is lying on the ground or growing just above the ground.
  • Parched grass or fallen leaves are the common fuel for surface fires.
  • Crown fires are those that burn in the leaves and canopies of trees and shrubs.

Causes of Wildfires

  • Wildfires can be caused by either human activity or a natural phenomenon such as lightning.
  • In about 50% of wildfires recorded, it is not known how they started and they can happen at any time or anywhere.

Natural Causes

  • It is often the weather conditions which play a deterministic role on deciding how much a wildfire grows.
  • Wind, high temperatures, and little rainfall can all cause trees, shrubs, fallen leaves, and limbs to be dried out and be primed to fuel a fire.
  • Topography plays a major role as well since flames burn uphill faster than they burn downhill.

Man-made Causes

  • Climate change caused by greenhouse gas emissions are creating warmer, drier conditions.
  • This result in increased drought, and a longer fire season which are boosting the chances of a wildfire.
  • Countries like Brazil are burning swaths of forest area to clear land for cultivation which can result in forest fires.
  • Fire can be created when a source of fire like naked flame, cigarette or bidi, electric spark etc which if used in forest area can result in wildfire.

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