Forest Fires

3850 Words Apr 27th, 2011 16 Pages
FOREST FIRES
A forestfire is any uncontrolled fire in combustible vegetation that occurs in the countryside or a wilderness area.[1][2] Other names such as brush fire, bushfire, forest fire, grass fire, hill fire, peat fire, vegetation fire, veldfire, and wildland fire may be used to describe the same phenomenon depending on the type of vegetation being burned. A wildfire differs from other fires by its extensive size, the speed at which it can spread out from its original source, its potential to change direction unexpectedly, and its ability to jump gaps such as roads, rivers and fire breaks.[3] Forest fires are characterized in terms of the cause of ignition, their physical properties such as speed of propagation, the combustible
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This fuel type is especially susceptible to ignition due to spotting. Ground fires typically burn by smoldering, and can burn slowly for days to months, such as peat fires in Kalimantan and Eastern Sumatra, Indonesia, which resulted from a riceland creation project that unintentionally drained and dried the peat.[29][30] * Crawling or surface fires are fueled by low-lying vegetation such as leaf and timber litter, debris, grass, and low-lying shrubbery.[31] * Ladder fires consume material between low-level vegetation and tree canopies, such as small trees, downed logs, and vines. Kudzu, Old World climbing fern, and other invasive plants that scale trees may also encourage ladder fires.[32] * Crown, canopy, or aerial fires burn suspended material at the canopy level, such as tall trees, vines, and mosses. The ignition of a crown fire, termed crowning, is dependent on the density of the suspended material, canopy height, canopy continuity, and sufficient surface and ladder fires in order to reach the tree crowns.[33] For example, ground-clearing fires lit by humans can spread into the Amazon rain forest, damaging ecosystems not particularly suited for heat or arid conditions.[34]
Physical properties
Forest fires occur when all of the necessary elements of a fire triangle come together in a wooded area: an ignition source is brought into contact with a

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