When a major, intense wildfire occurs, it has a major impact on the environment of that area well after the fire is out. Here is what the environmental response to a forest fire looks like.
Wildfires emit a large amount of carbon dioxide, contributing to climate change. Globally, wildfires contribute about 10% of the world’s carbon emissions, and this number is going up with the increase in wildfire activity that we’ve been seeing over the past few years.
As many of us in Canada saw firsthand this summer, smoke from wildfires can do a number on air quality. Wildfire smoke contains small particles that cause lung damage when breathed in.
Ash from forest fires will fall into waterways and, depending on the level of contaminants and the volume of ash, this can cause water pollution that negatively impacts fish species.
One positive result of forest fires is all of the new growth that proceeds them. After an area has burned, the nutrients from the ash creates very fertile soil that encourages robust new growth and a diversity of species.
With worse wildfire seasons over the past few years, we are beginning to really see the negative impacts of forest fires on a global scale. At this time, wildfire prevention and suppression is more important than ever before. SPIEDR offers wildland fire suppression training, consulting, and suppression equipment.