The Impact of Wild Fires

The Impact of Wild Fires

 There are three critical factors needed for fire. Fuel, heat & oxygen commonly known in the fire & science circles as the fire triangle. If you take away one or more of these factors a fire cannot start. When consistent drought conditions exist nothing more than a simple spark can create a wildfire with devasting results. More than eighty percent of all wildfire’s are human caused. A few examples of these are lit cigarette butts, unextinguished campfires and even a vehicle parked in high grass because of their hot exhaust systems. The wildfire season in the United States is now approaching eight months long costing the United States taxpayers at least 2.4 billion on a yearly budget and that does not include the cost incurred by the states where wildfires occur.

The lasting effects of wildfires to local water supplies and the land itself can have a noticeable impact. After a wildfire the land that was burned is referred to as a burn scar and future weather events such as a heavy snowpack and rain can cause heavy run off contaminating streams, rivers and lakes. The vegetation can be significantly impacted taking years to recover and trees even decades to recover and reseeding the land naturally. The effects to wildlife would be just as concerning. With no ground cover or food supply wildlife would be forced to migrate to more favorable grounds to survive.

Air quality during a wildfire can have listings effect on humans. When a wildfire occurs large amounts of smoke are released into the air which contains small particulate matter and can travel great distances possible causing long term effects not only to the lungs but also our hearts.

Man-made structures such as homes, barns and fences can cause issues involving the chemicals used for coating and manufacture of a lot of products and in older homes asbestos was used in insulation that not only can be released during the fire but can also be a very costly issue during the cleanup requiring a special asbestos removal crew. If any asbestos is found everyone should stay away from the structure until the contaminated debris is safety and properly removed.

There are benefits from wildfires, overgrown areas are cleared and a renaissance of growth with grasses and wild flowers make this area prime grazing land for cattle and wildlife in general. Eventually seeds from trees are naturally are deposited and take root and the circle of nature starts again.

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