Wildfires are any unplanned fires that burn in forests and other wild lands, such as shrub or grass communities. They’re a powerful natural force we must fully understand, and respect, in order to best help control. Nearly nine out of 10 wildfires nationwide are caused by humans and could have been prevented.
What is a wildfire?
A wildfire also known as a wild land fire, forest fire, vegetation fire, grass fire, peat fire, bush fire (in Australia), or hill fire is an uncontrolled fire often occurring in wild land areas, but which can also consume houses or agricultural resources. Wildfires often begin unnoticed, but they spread quickly igniting brush, trees and homes.
What causes a wildfire?
Common causes of wildfires include lightning, human carelessness, arson, volcano eruption, and iconoclastic cloud from active volcano. Heat waves, droughts, and cyclical climate changes such as Nixon can also have a dramatic effect on the risk of wildfires. Although, more than four out of every five wildfires are caused by people.
How do firefighters put out the wildfires?
- Firefighters use a tool known as a Pulaski. Its a combination of an ax and hoe used to dig a fire line.
- A fire line is a strip of land from which all brush and debris have been cleared to rob a wildfire of its fuel. Firefighters also use hotshots and smoke jumpers to clear a large path in a big circle around the fire so the blaze is contained in a ring of dirt.
- When the fire reaches this area, it runs out of fuel and starves to death. If the fire is too large, however, planes and helicopters fly overhead, dropping water and special chemicals that smother the flames.
Where can wildfires occur?
Wildfires can occur anywhere, but are common in the forested areas of the United States and Canada. They are also susceptible in many places around the world, including much of the vegetated areas of Australia as well as in the Western Cape of South Africa. The climates are sufficiently moist to allow the growth of trees, but feature extended dry, hot periods. Fires are particularly prevalent in the summer and fall, and during droughts when fallen branches, leaves, and other material can dry out and become highly flammable. Wildfires are also common in grasslands and scrub lands