Forest fires are one of the leading suspects of deforestation and wildlife destruction around the world. In the United States alone, forest fires are responsible for ravaging thousands of hectares of forest and countryside every year. They are known to spread quickly depending on the physical features, weather conditions, and the type of vegetation.
Based on the discovered fossil charcoals, forest fires are not new. They are considered to be natural and have been happening for as far as one hundred million years ago. That’s not a surprise since our planet is full of flammable properties such as carbon and oxygen. Sometimes forest fires happen because of a lighting, super dry climate, or volcanic activity.
In this article, we’ll talk more about forest fires and how do they happen. We’ll also include some ideas on how to best prevent them from happening to help preserve our forests.
Forest fires while usually considered to be a natural phenomenon are also sometimes a result of human activities. Human activities near a forested area such as smoking or campfire are often one of the major causes of a forest fire.
Throwing a cigarette into vegetation or leaving a campfire without completely extinguishing it can lead to a destructive forest fire. It’s important to note that forest fires usually start small and may take some time before it gets noticed. It then begins to spread slowly, and by the time someone sees it, the fire is already out of control.
The equipment used in logging can also lead to fires especially if the machinery used is leaking. Electric and manufacturing plants that are near to forests are also responsible for starting a fire. Aside from these human activities, other people just like to start a fire and cause trouble without any reason or arson. Of all the lights in the United States, 90% of them are caused by humans.
When it comes to natural causes of forest fire, lighting is the one that’s more responsible for them. Lighting strikes can cause a fire to vegetation. These fires tend to happen after the dry season since the forests are still dry. Lightning causes more forest fires than human activities and they then to occur in the densest forests. This is because lightning often strikes in remote areas. Lightning fires can also happen in rough terrains, and remote places where suppressing it can prove to be challenging.
Volcanic eruptions and lava flow are also known to start forest fire but in rare occurrences only. Volcanic eruptions sometimes cause a fire. If you prevent this kind of fire, this can result in an earthquake.
Forest Fires Prevention
Now that we’ve already discussed the most common causes of forest fires, it’s time to talk about prevention.
It’s important to note that some experts monitor natural fires to maintain balance in the forest’s ecology.
Authorities purposely burn some vegetation because they present a risk to some animal species. They even allow some natural fires to maintain balance among species.
Authorities from all over the world have already started to create campaigns and awareness programs on how to reduce human-caused forest fires. They are beginning to teach some techniques on how to put out a fire immediately especially if it is still small like throwing layers of soil into the fire. Firefighters, especially in the United States, are starting to use unmanned aerial drones and other flying vehicles to drop water on a forest fire.
There are even some cases where firefighters are purposely burning sections of a forest to create a buffer zone wherein; they can effectively control possible forest fires in the future.