Out of all the natural disasters, forest fire (also called wildfire)is considered highly dangerous and one of the toughest to tackle. The risk is high in dry places, and if the situation is not handled properly, it can continue for a long time, unfortunately.
If it happens in your location, you will experience transportation, communication, power, gas, and water problems. Moreover, it harms air quality, crops, animals, etc.
Forest fire is so powerful that it suffocates, injures, and even burns people. The life of the people in the vulnerable area always remains in jeopardy. From the following article, you will get lots of information regarding wildfire and its impact on the environment. Keep reading.
What is Forest Fire?
A forest fire is a kind of fire that is uncontrolled and when it starts to spread, it destroys everything in the way.Lots of reasons behind its occurrence. For example, If there is a lightning strike, arson or even people starting it intentionally or unintentionally, the chance of having a forest fire is huge.
The sad thing is, it burns for days or weeks depending on the area and the intensity of the fire.You will be surprised to know that it is powerful enough to wipe out a whole forest and destroy all the organic matters and living beings present in it.
A forest fire can also be called wildfire, grass fires, bushfire, and peat fires depending on the type of vegetation it burns in its path.
One thing to note is that the fire varies according to the weather’s condition. It mainly ignites and becomes strong in hot and dry climates. Furthermore, drought and wind also play a vital role in increase its intensity with time.
Its Destructive Nature
There are no words to express when it comes to its destructive nature. As you know, a forest consists of animals, birds, insects, plants and trees. Plus, there are water, rocks and a stable climate present in that area which helps in balancing the total ecosystem.
When it strikes, the natural flow of the ecosystem gets disrupted. Air and water get intensely polluted, animals lose their lives, plants and trees get demolished, soils get degraded and the list goes endless.
Yes, this natural disaster has different types and they burn differently than the others. Have a look at the explanation.
This type of fire burns everything on the ground. It burns organic materials that are present in the soil. The burning process is quite slow since it burns under the debris or vegetation. They basically glow during the time they ignite.
The name might give you a clue. It burns on the surface and targets dry leaves, branches, broken twigs and other things that are present in that spot. Since they form on the surface, the way they spread is quite quick and if it goes unnoticed, the situation can turn even worse than usual.
This one is very dangerous due to its severe heat and power. It generates huge flames and the most vicious thing about it is spreading intensity.
They start burning on a treetop and quickly spreads it onto the other treetop. In this way, a chain reaction occurs and the outcome becomes deadly. The situation becomes more serious when it gets the opportunity to move towards the steep slopes.
It usually initiates from an ignited tree and flies from one treetop to other places with the help of wind.In the short term, this flying fire or fireball is known as ‘Firebrands’.
Due to the direction of the wind is uncertain, the firebrand can target any location and torch that specific area in an instant. If the wind continues for a long period, the fire will keep spreading from one zone to the other.
It is a large fire or blaze that is a huge threat to animal and human life, health, and property. The fire can either start accidentally or intentionally (usually created by arson). Thus, if wind or firebrand comes into play, the strength of the fire gets enhanced onto a new level. Due to this, the possibility of having a firestorm becomes huge.
How does a Wildfire Start?
Below, you will find some of the situations that start a forest fire.
Camping is an important aspect for a lot of people whether young or old. It gives them the opportunity to spend time with nature.
During this outdoor activity, fires are needed for a lot of purposes. However, without proper care, a small fire can start out of the blue and if not put out immediately, it begins to spread and quickly becomes a wildfire.
Some people love to smoke during the time they walk, ride a bike or drive a car. After they are done smoking, some of them throw it away without extinguishing the buds. So, you never know when a minor mistake can become a tragedy.
Wildfires that happened due to lighting are quite common in lots of countries. When it strikes a particular area, it immediately creates a spark. One thing leads to another, and everything changes from normal to deadly within a blink of an eye.
Waste and junk normally get burned in lots of places. With proper rules and regulations, this situation can be handled. But if someone does this kind of job carelessly, things can get out of hand and a fire can start.
Equipment like lawnmowers, gas balloons and even cars become lethal when it malfunctions because there is a likelihood that it might catch fire. If the problem is not detected immediately, the problem gets triggered too much and the damage it causes becomes unsolvable.
In many countries, fireworks are banned due to their explosive features and the capability to initiate a fire. You have to remain careful the entire time when you are going to blast it. If it gets blasted at the wrong place, fires will definitely start.
Arson is an action taken by a person (known as an arsonist) to set fire to land, property, etc. The person’s intention is simply to cause damage and harm the other party. Specialists said that around 30% of the wildfire had happened due to arsonists.
Impact on the Environment due to Wildfire
Wildfire imposes a negative impact on the environment without a doubt. Here are all the affected areas.
If you haven’t experienced wildfire in your area, you must have seen it on TV. The footage shows how the firefighters battle the calamities and try their best to neutralize the situation.
With full focus on the image, you will find out the kind of image the fire had done to the vegetation and animals. Besides, it destroys all the houses in that particular area.
In total, the government spends tons of money on aircraft, chemicals, people and many more. Sincea large portion of vegetables and other foods got destroyed, there is a huge loss in the economic cost.
Organic Matters and Soils
Forest soils are efficient in decomposing the debris and other nutrients. It also has multiple benefits that support lots of living beings and organic activities. When a wildfire starts, it raises the temperature of the soils to 900 degrees Celsius or more. Sadly, this destroys all the soil’s organic value which can never be restored.
Movement of Water
When the organic matter (present in the soil) gets burned, the natural layer of the soil becomes affected as well. This makes the surface of the soil repellent to water.
As a result, the water gets blocked and can’t drain into water tables. This creates erosion problems that become a threat to the watershed (areas or lands that divides the flow of water to lots of rivers, seas or basins).
Some Other Information
- Researches claim that there are some positive sides to this natural disaster. Different nutrients and minerals are broken down from burned plants during wildfire which then turns into soil.
- Animals that survive escape to other areas and start their habitat in that place.
- An effective weather station instrument used by firefighters is an anemometer. It is used mainly to measure the direction and speed of the incoming wind. The upgraded version comes with humidity, temperature, barometric pressure and other features that help the firefighters to understand the behavior of fire in advance.
When overcoming the obstacle caused by wildfire, everyone must work together and help each other out. With the right mindset and strategy, this disaster can be tackled quite easily.
Hope you have enjoyed reading the article. Stay safe and take care.