How much do you know about wildfires? You might be surprised by some of these fascinating wildfire facts.
90% of All Wildfires are Human-Caused
90% of all wildfires are human caused, with the other 10% being caused by natural occurrences such as lightning strikes. Common ways that human-caused wildfires are ignited include unattended campfires, burning debris, sparks from heavy machinery, and discarded cigarette butts.
This means that we have a lot of control over the amount of wildfires that occur, and proper safety precautions and preparedness during wildfire season can make a major difference in how many fires are sparked! Always follow rules and regulations regarding campfires and burning debris, and be mindful of any activities you do that could run the risk of triggering a wildfire.
When a Wildfire is Big Enough, it Produces its Own Weather
When a forest fire is large enough, it can actually make its own weather! The massive amount of energy produced by a wildfire can actually make a type of thundercloud called Pyrocumulonimbus clouds. While these clouds do not produce rain, they can cause lightning to strike, potentially igniting even more fires.
Burning Debris Can Be Thrown 2 KM Ahead of a Wildfire
The wind and energy coming off a wildfire is powerful enough to fling burning debris up to two kilometres ahead of the fire. This is how wildfires can spread so quickly in dry conditions, because burning debris is thrown long distances and then ignites fuel where it lands.
Wildfires Promote Plant Growth
Although we tend to think of wildfires as purely destructive forces, they can actually be beneficial to the environment in terms of soil and plant life. The burned material from a forest fire delivers a lot of nutrients to the soil, making it extremely fertile. Because of this, plants grow extremely well and thrive in burned areas after a wildfire has recently occurred.
Wildfires are fascinating and powerful occurrences that can cause a great deal of damage if not properly managed. At SPIEDR, we are doing our part to help keep communities safe from wildland fires through consulting, equipment rentals, and training services.