Fire also releases carbon dioxide—a key greenhouse gas—into the atmosphere. Lightning: lightning can cause wildfires, especially the type of lightning called “hot lightning”, which can last for a relatively long time. When it comes to fires, they can be characterized in terms of how they started (ignition), their physical properties, combustible materials and the effect of weather on that fire as well. Further studies should include the cause, intensity, and recurrence of fires, since they determine the effects of fire on the soil and biota (fire severity). These massive fires are driven by a … Now who doesn’t love a good camping trip? This phenomenon usually occurs during prolonged drought seasons. The 4th of July is always a busy day for fire departments. Therefore, it is not them, but lightning, that is the main cause of the departure of forest fires from natural sources. The OMPE is currently studying SEURFF : System of Extinction Ultra Rapids of Forest fires. 806 Avenue des plans This will negatively affect percolation and infiltration, making the soil surfaces repellent (impervious) to water. This smoke rises into the air up to 6 miles where most of the pollution and particulate matter in the atmosphere resides. World’s Largest Forest Fires over Last 10 years, Oil Spills; Causes, Effects and Solutions, 10+ Pros and Cons of Aquaculture (Fish Farming), Canopy continuity; how connected the canopy is or Forest Density, Moisture content in organic matter (low moisture; slow fire), Weather conditions during the blaze (dry weather favors forest fires). Natural events caused by nature are responsible for the remainder of 10% of wildfires in the United States. In addition, ashes destroy much of the nutrients and erode the soil, causing flooding and landslides. Most organizations consider wildfires to be an unplanned or unexpected event. Forest fires increase carbon dioxide levels in the atmosphere, contributing to the greenhouse effect and climate change. Use organic materials such as woods, leaves, or yard waste. Forest fires can quickly wipe out large patches of land or destroy many homes and local businesses, taking lives in the process. Ground fires are mainly sub-terrestrial (below surface-level). Non-Methane Volatile Organic Carbon (NMVOC), chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). (Then we’ll discuss each of those causes ahead as well). But there’s a significant difference between long-term exposure and the short-term exposure that occurs in a discrete event such as a forest fire. Impacts of Fire Smoke on Human Health Over 90% of emissions from fires are small enough to enter the respiratory system. Current Efforts! It also accelerates the process of the narrowing and hardening of the arteries known as atherosclerosis, the main cause of heart attacks and strokes. These laws apply to specific dry-weather times of the year, so you should be on the lookout for those as well. A few hundred years ago, forest fires were a natural “activity” caused mostly by rare phenomena, such as a volcanic eruption or an earthquake, that occur in very specific geographical areas. Burned organic matter in an enriched soil can affect the natural layering of the soils. For example, excessive rain causes floods, whereas lack of rains causes drought. In crown fires, trees burn up the entire length to the top! Currently, the causes of fires are anthropic in origin, with agriculture displaying the maximum level of association with forest fires (Cochrane, 2013). When the forests are managed with benefits of the whole community in mind, that…, At some point in time, you may have faced some allergies. ), we must not forget that the natural cycles of forests are disturbed and that some species disappear, while invasive plants proliferate. These chemicals when breathed into lungs with air, could result in all forms of cancers. This is exactly what happened in Richard Hammond’s car crash in June 2017. When you search or learn about allergy…. Afforestation is the process of planting trees in areas devoid of any forest cover (no…, Forest Fires have been known to unleash havoc on the environment. The ash and smoke from forest fires can cause serious health problems to any humans who are exposed to them. Most of those will become endangered. In some parts of the country (Aragon, Pyrenean chains, etc. Although the exact quantities are difficult to calculate, scientists estimate that Occasionally, such fires can continue to burn underground throughout winters and then emerge at the surface again in spring. Teach your children about the importance of forests and forest products. Wildfire can immediately damage infrastructure, wildlife, and vegetation. A wildfire, wildland fire or rural fire is an unplanned, unwanted, uncontrolled fire in an area of combustible vegetation starting in rural areas and urban areas. This makes easy containment of fire and prevents its spread. The fires lay waste to vast areas of timber and grassland, which contributes to soil erosion and water quality. Awareness should be raised among smokers and they must understand that small negligence on their part can cause a huge impact (destruction) on the environment and surrounding areas. This will definitely cause surface run-offs, leading to soil erosion. Periodic natural fires can be helpful to the health of a forest. Differences between Deforestation, Afforestation and Reforestation! A dry winter. The present study summarises causes and effects of forest fires according to regions and identifies the most relevant “hotspots” of our planet. Each year, between 60,000 and 80,000 forest fires occur, destroying between 3 and 10 million hectares. Uncontrolled and man-made forest fires are a threat to biodiversity and is one of the main causes of deforestation. Wind plays an important role in igniting and spreading forest fires. Fires kill off trees and other plants that eventually dry and act as the fuel to feed massive wildfires. Around 80% of forest fires in the United States are caused by humans. Fireworks are fun to shoot on special occasions. Several large fires—the LNU Lightning Complex Fire, CZU Lightning Complex Fire, and the Hennessey Fire, for example—are burning across California. The use of chemicals in firefighting adds an Since humans account for 90% of Wildfire causes in most parts of the world, only they can work to prevent forest fires. unaccompanied by rain. Forests ablaze Causes and effects of global forest fires… Trees are cutting down to use it as a fuel for various purposes such as cooking, etc. You must make sure to follow all the local regulations and laws when it comes to lighting up fires, especially when igniting outdoors. The remainder being classified of unknown origin… Thus, since 1973, more than 1.1 million hectares burned in France. Dumping of trash illegally is wrong on its own. (including this payment) *, OMPE supports the French referendum for animals, OMPE - Organisation Mondiale pour la Protection de l’Environnement. How many times would you like this to recur? The effects of a fire on the plants are obvious. But today, natural causes are much less frequent and now give place to human activities, whether voluntary or not : 43% of forest fires caused by humans are linked to imprudences (cigarette butts, garbage deposits, burning). On April 1, the statewide Sierra snowpack was just 54% of its historical average. In Africa, Central and South America, México, Fiji, New Zealand, and Southeast Asia; humans are mainly responsible for forest fires through actions like. These fires are also referred to as a ‘wildland fire’ or ‘rural fire’. More causes of deforestation are: Road constructions contribute to deforestation. When the frequency of forest fires in a given area is high, the consequences can be devastating. Overall, most common causes of forest fires around the world differ according to location. Save my name, email, and website in this browser for the next time I comment. Other than that, some may develop asthma or previously asthmatic patients may develop exacerbation of their symptoms. These fires are easiest to put out and cause least damage to the forest. However, There are 3 major types of forest fires: Crown fires are also known as canopy fires or aerial fires, and for all the right reasons. Afforestation; Importance, Advantages & Disadvantages. For example, it accounts for about 2% of fires in the Mediterranean zone… and close to 30% in Quebec ! The forest fires also release pollutants including particulate matter and toxic gases such as carbon monoxide, nitrogen oxides and non-methane organic … These are said to be more intense and dangerous wildland fires. The findings of the study highlight the presence of ammonium polyphosphate, known to alter soil fertility, biodiversity and affect the composition of vegetation. Livestock farming also hampers the forest ecosystem. Surface fires burn on the ground where it uses the vegetation on the forest floor as fuel. The OMPE (Environmental NGO) was created in France in September 2013 in order to defend concretely the global environmental causes such as the maintenance of biodiversity (endangered species), global warming, pollution (insecticides, plastics, radioactivity , Etc ...), the quality of the water and the air, the atmosphere, the deforestations, etc. 06270 Villeneuve LoubetFRANCE, OMPE | Organisation Mondiale pour la Protection de l’Environnement | Email : contact@ompe.org | Tel : +33 (0)4.92.02.33.55, Copyright 2019 | OMPE - Tous droits réservés -. Solutions – Only you can prevent forest fires! In some cases, extremely hot weather has been regarded as a cause for wildfire. They have a huge number of causes…, What is Social Forestry? Forest fragmentation affects biodiversity in the following ways: a) The outright loss of habitat: Places that get cleared out for the purpose of industrialisation, building of railway tracks or simply setting up a civilisation can affect the species that have lived there for ages. Wind is definitely not what ignites forest fires, but it’s surely one of the major factors when it comes to small fires turning into wildfires. Displacing their habitat and taking away their homes is as cruel as it sounds. Wildfires increase temperature of soils to more than 900ᵒC which can strip almost all the organic value of the soil, stealing its ability to grow any plants again. The most recent and deadliest fire (Australian Bushfire) which is still going on, has record-breaking high temperatures in Australia as one of its causes. With temperatures as high as 1000°C, fires can potentially wipe out anything which comes in its way. Throwing out lit cigarettes can also result in wildfires. Executive Summary From WWF’s point of view, the effects of forest fires on global species diversity are severe. Depending on types of plants present; wildfire can also be classified into brush fire, bushfire, desert fire, hill fire, peat fire, vegetation fire, veld fire and forest fire. Humans and Wildfire Nearly 85 percent* of wildland fires in the United States are caused by humans. Smoking near vegetation can cause a widespread fire when a smoker throws a cigarette into vegetation without completely extinguishing its burning butt. This can lead to huge economic setbacks. If a child does show keen interest towards fire, parents should consult a psychologist for the child to address those mental impulses. These fires move very slowly but they can be a nuisance to put out or suppress completely. While most smokers throw lit cigarettes innocently, their actions have caused several forest fires throughout history. They can also occur as a result of surges, damage to power lines or military accidents as happened in 2016 and 2017 at Captieux military camp in Gironde (caused by military fire, destroying 1300 hectares of pines) or at Le Mans military camp in April 2017. Rainforest Fires are due to 2 major natural reasons: Eruptions from burning lava can ignite fields as far as 1 kilometer! – C.A.L – While forest fires have different impacts on the environment, depending on their size and frequency, An iceberg of 1000 billions tons is detached from the Antarctic, Organisation Mondiale pour la Protection de l’Environnement. Volcanic eruptions that cause hot lava to burn everything in its way. When you choose to light fire, you must make sure you are doing so in areas that can be controlled and fires don’t spread into other places. People commonly throw cigarette buds on the ground unknowingly. In China and the Lands around Mediterranean Sea, ferocious forest fires are due to human carelessness (like igniting fires in backyard and forgetting to put them out). These wildland fires result in catastrophic damage to property and human life. Natural causes of Forest Fire Lightning storms that are dry, i.e. Reduce garbage in campfire places or any other materials that should not be burned. Burning waste in the backyard is quite common among people living in the suburbs, especially near to forests where there aren’t many garbage collection services. Inhaling carbon monoxide decreases the body's oxygen supply. Therefore, water then drains over the land rather than getting absorbed into the soil. They must be educated about the rules and safety precautions during camping and should be told to stay away from fires. Fireworks shouldn’t be used since it may lead to the initiation of a wildfire. As much as 90% of Forest wildfires in United States are caused by people! Forest fire researcher Guido van der Werf of the VU University Amsterdam explains that large forest fires almost always have a combination of causes. Factors like steep slopes or wind can definitely accelerate the fire. Before we start discussing solutions of Forest fires, Remember, only you can prevent forest fires! Furthermore, the city will have to spend millions of dollars into fire-retardant chemicals, aircraft, and trucks, as well as time and personnel. In some cases, volcanic activities lead to fires. Lightnings (they caused 17% of wildland fires, but a minimal percentage of overall forest fires) High wind is not a direct cause of fires, but it … The suspended material usually includes tall trees, vines and mosses on the trunk and branches. Small-engine cars can produce high flames in the vehicle if operating in a field or forest. In addition, ashes destroy much of the nutrients and erode the soil, causing flooding and landslides. This will definitely raise the frequency of visits to the hospital or more importantly, the emergency room. Human-caused fires result from campfires left unattended, the burning of debris, equipment use and malfunctions, negligently discarded cigarettes, and intentional acts of arson. Lightning in places of dry vegetation causes a fire. A lot depends on what the fire destroys, as there is tremendous variation among … Many places are seeing their snowpack melt one to four weeks earlier than just … Unattended campfires can quickly go out of control and result in blazing wildfires. Forest fires such as the ones that commonly happen in dry tropical forests are a major cause of forest degradation. Required fields are marked *, Peat is said to be an accumulation of partially decayed vegetation or organic materials found in unique areas…, Afforestation, Reforestation, and Deforestation are terms that are frequently used when it comes to discussing global warming and…, What is Afforestation? Your email address will not be published. History suggests wildfires started as early as 420 Million years ago when vegetation first grew on the planet’s land. Did you know? When it strikes the ground, it can produce a spark that can set off fire in a forest or a field. Here are 13 other reasons for Endangerment of Species and 20 Ways to Save Endangered Species. Natural causes are much more prevalent in Canada and Northwest China, with lightning being the most common cause of igniting forest fires there. A study in 2008 found that 85% of forest fires in Australia were due to human activity (mostly arson). This results in loss of habitat and destruction for millions of animals! Fine particles in the air are able to travel deep into the respiratory tract and cause shortness of breath or worsen pre-existing medical conditions such as asthma. When it strikes, it can produce a spark that can set off a forest or a field. Firefighters who risk their lives to fight the fire can develop serious health problems due to smoke inhalation. Later during my stint in medical school, I realized that many of our health concerns originate from neglecting our environmental responsibilities and this was just not sustainable in the long run. This led to the foundation of EnvironmentBuddy! These fires mostly occur in remote locations away from human presence. Forest fires are a seasonal occurrence in many parts of the world. Even though it’s legal to do so, carelessly burning waste with open fires can quickly get out of hand. P.S: This number is much higher in other parts of the world like Canada and Northwest China. However, a … While forest fires have different impacts on the environment, depending on their size and frequency, the causes are also diverse. Any person involved in committing arson (igniting fires) is said to be an arsonist. Forest fires showing deforestation causes and effects. Effects of wildfire on watersheds should not be overlooked. Even though it may seem less, this amounts to thousands of acres burned to the ground. As you may have realized from the list of causes above, Humans are largely responsible for forest fires around the world. If some specialists consider fire to be a windfall for the ecosystem (elimination of diseased plants and plants, increased plant and animal diversity, etc. I have lived on the countryside for over a decade of my life where I realized how human activities impacted the environment. Climate change and forest management practices both have contributed to today’s fire conditions, and reducing wildfire risks requires addressing both issues. This can be carelessness such as not putting out a campfire or dropping a lit cigarette. Here’s how: Long fire seasons: When warm weather arrives early, it leads to premature spring snowmelt and runoff. If not handled properly there may be flames in unwanted territory. A great way would be to show them this article of how wildfires can cause devastating effects on these forests. Forest soils are enriched with organic debris and nutrients and composed of many natural features that serve to support various life forms and organic processes. Here is a list of locations with their most common causes of fires. 2/18/13 Cause and Effects of Forest Fires A cause and effect essay is an essay that tells what the cause of something is and what the effect will be. In fact, while fire destroys existing vegetation, it also creates space for plants to reproduce and regenerate. Smoke Exposure results in increased hospitalization into respiratory and cardiovascular wards. Some fires may take a few hours before being noticed as the fire starts small and spreads slowly at first before gaining momentum. This is because of the following toxic air pollutants released by wildfires: These chemicals definitely take its toll on air quality and people breathing in that air may suffer from any number of conditions. Volcanic Eruption; Lightning; Dry Climates; Extremely Hot Weather; Effects of Rainforest Fires. If you put unnecessary and unusual materials into your fire, it will worsen it and make the fire spread at a much more rapid rate causing more damage to the area you’re present in. Such vegetation includes fallen leaves and branches, grass, low-lying shrubs and duff or ground litter. Human activities near or within forested areas are the number one cause of forest fires. Volcanic Eruption: Hot burning lava, from volcanic eruptions, also … Underground coal fires, which continue to burn long after ground fires have been extinguished can cause forest fires to reignite or spread. There will also be increase in consumption of pharmaceuticals which have their own line of effects on the environment. Thus, considering the current consequences of human activities in global deforestation and GCC, further in-depth research at several temporal and spatial scales appears to be extremely pertinent. Fire’s effect on the landscape may be long-lasting. Strong winds push the fire towards a direction and that makes them spread much more than they naturally have the ability to. Loss of Soil Fertility; Damage to Economy; Effects on Watershed; Effects of Wildfires on Human Health; Wildfire Effects on Animals; Solutions – Only you can prevent forest fires! More importantly, burning everything willy nilly releases all kinds of chemicals into the air. Australian bushfires have recently resulted in north of 1 Million animal deaths. Surface fires burn at lower temperatures than crown fires (below 400°C) and burn slow. One of the most immediate effects that a forest fire can have on weather patterns is the smoke that the fire emits into the atmosphere. It leads to deforestation to use the land for livestock farming purposes. Animals already endangered would be at a much higher risk of extinction as well! Most of these wildfires are caused by cigarette butts thrown on the ground, campfires not put out or due to voluntary arson. Equipment such a… However, if you’re forced to do so, the least you could do is put out the cigarettes before you throw them onto the roadside. It’s recommended to choose a safe location for carrying out campfires. Lightning can cause wildfires, especially a particular type of lightening called “hot lightning”. Crown fires ignition depends on the following factors: Surface fires are also known as crawling fires. Forest fires increase carbon dioxide levels in the atmosphere, contributing to the greenhouse effect and climate change. Natural Causes of Forest Fires. Many wildfires are caused by inattentive children near fires. Climate change contributes to forest fires in a number of ways. Find a location that is away from ignitable objects and make sure you’re stocked with a shovel or water bucket. For example, negligence in forest management can be a factor. Camping is fun for both young and old age people. 25% of forest fires caused by humans are caused by pyromaniacs, revenge or political or administrative strategy. Fireworks are a common cause of forest, grass, and brush fires. Finally, recklessness is often linked to recreational activities, agricultural or forestry work (55% of fires). Whenever forest fires are experienced, thousands of acres of trees and vegetation cover are wiped out. Pollination: Definition, Benefits, Examples. Read More: Volcanoes; Types, Importance, Pros and Cons. Raising awareness, not locally but globally, was the mission. Crown fires burn suspended organic material along the length of the trees to the top (canopy-level). Almost every year, forests fires are witnessed across different forest regions which persistently reduce the quality of certain forest features like soil fertility, biodiversity, … Water levels are so low that plants and animals struggle to survive in such conditions. Dry Climates specifically favor wildfires because of lack of moisture. Usually firefighters rush to the scene in anticipation of a fire. The spatiotemporal patterns of forest fires require further study to develop strategies for good agricultural production and to predict successional routes after fires. Other exceptional circumstances and very unusual phenomena, such as the collision of two silicious rocks producing a spark, may also have a (minimal) impact on fires. Fire effects are influenced by forest conditions before the fire and management action taken or not taken after the fire. When fires spread, they also leave entire families without a home. Ensure a Sustainable Green Future with Environment Buddy! Due to the risk fires have on humans and property, arson is considered to be a crime. It may also be arson, which is setting a fire on purpose and is against the law. Dry Climates or Arid Regions are areas where there is extremely low amount of water. In United States and Australia, the most common causes of forest fires are considered as lightning and human activities (Agriculture machinery sparks, thrown cigarette butts and/or Arson). According to a recent study by the Supreme Council for Scientific Research (CSIC), chemicals contained in “flame retardants” used to extinguish fires (such as Fire-Trol) accumulate in the soil for years. Forest fires burn through hundreds of thousands of acres before they are put out. Aug. 28, 2019 -- The Amazon rainforest fires that have been blazing out of control in Brazil for weeks could have far-reaching effects on our health, experts warn. Strong winds can spread flames of burning debris into forests, farms or fields. One of the biggest causes of natural forest fires is lightning. In this essay, I am going to discuss the causes and effects of forest fires.In California, wild fires burned 30,660 acres, in year 2010. Arson is the act of maliciously setting fire to property (mainly buildings), vehicles, forests or any other intentional damage that may be caused. In Spain, 5% of fires are due to natural causes, especially in dry, hot places. Fires have been breaking out at an unusual pace in Brazil this year, causing global alarm over deforestation in the Amazon region. Do forest fires have a significant impact on global warming, or is my anxiety misplaced? Climate change causes forest fuels (the organic matter that burns and spreads wildfire) to be more dry, and has doubled the number of large fires between 1984 and 2015 in the western United States. Follow Rules; Light Fires in Controlled Locations; Stop Burning Combustible Products National Wildlife Federation (NWF) notes that increases in average annual temperatures create conditions that dramatically elevate the risk and severity of forest fires, particularly in the American West. However, dry conditions have been so extreme that even traditionally more humid forest ecosystems, rarely affected by wildfires, have been engulfed by flames. An uncontrolled forest fire can devastate everything in its path, spread for miles, crossing rivers and roads. Electric vehicles have been known to start blazing fires. In 2015 alone, 2 Billion dollars was spent on federal firefighting suppression in the United States. – USDA. Particular knowledge of which materials and substances are allowed to be burned is also necessary. Last … Car accidents have been known to start fires rapidly. Your email address will not be published. Natural wildfires are usually the opposite and may have beneficial effects on vegetation, animals, and ecosystems that have developed over the years with help from natural fires. This basically means the fire ignites or burns mainly above the ground. My love for nature is not newfound. Would you like to make regular donations? Wildfires usually occur in rural areas and forests (away from cities). ), thunderstorms and lightning, in the absence of rain, are responsible for 25% of forest fire departures. A wildfire is an uncontrolled fire in an area where there is combustible vegetation. Where lethal temperature penetrates deeply enough to kill many regenerative structures, Inhalation of wildfire smoke leads to various toxic health effects on humans. cause and effect essay about forest fires The notion of a viable opposed other economists and established Rain Forest In this term paper, I will explain the the population, lack of direction Rainforests around the world and discuss the effects of the tragedy of rainforest destruction and evacuation plan. Sometimes it is good to lightly prevent pieces of forest, so that the fires do not together lead to larger, uncontrollable fires. Volcanoes; Types, Importance, Pros and Cons. The use of chemicals in firefighting adds an additional problem to the already dramatic consequences of forest fires. A running engine can spew hot sparks that can quickly ignite materials around. However, wildland fire is a broad term that includes prescribed fire (voluntary) as well as wildland fire use (controlled fires – WFU). This means that ground fires occur in collections of humus, peat, and similar dead vegetation on the forest floor that become dry enough to initiate burning. Forest fires as a result of hot lightning last relatively longer. Fires of natural origin are often quickly channeled since they usually have only one outbreak. The major cause of forest fires in the United States is human activities. Start discussing solutions of forest fires occur, destroying between 3 and 10 million hectares this to recur many structures! Burn suspended organic material along the length of the country ( Aragon, Pyrenean chains,.! Be increase in consumption of pharmaceuticals which have their own line of effects on trunk! Vegetation without completely extinguishing its burning butt those causes ahead as well massive wildfires contributes to soil and! Extremely hot weather ; effects of wildfire on watersheds should not be burned is also necessary over. 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2020 forest fire causes and effects