Essay on Wildfires

1769 WordsApr 13, 20118 Pages
A wildfire is any instance of uncontrolled burning in grasslands, brush, or woodlands. Wildfires destroy property and valuable natural resources, and may threaten the lives of people and animals. Wildfires can occur at any time of the year, but usually occur during hot, dry weather. Wildfires are usually signaled by dense smoke which may fill the air for miles around. The National Weather Service, U.S. Forest Service, and State forestry agencies combine to give wildfire probability forecasts. Local radio and television stations broadcast information and warnings on local fire conditions. Wildfires pose an increasing threat to the residential United States. In 1987, 53,000 fires consumed more than two million acres. By October 1988, almost…show more content…
On the actual day of the fire, the fire planners will again check such conditions as wind and moisture content in the vegetation. The wind direction will determine where the fire is started. Fire crews start the burn with a device called a drip torch. A drip torch is a can of fuel with a flame-carrying wick at the end. When the crewmember tilts the wick toward the ground, a flame streams out and ignites the vegetation. Most of the effort that goes into a prescribed fire is making sure that it is contained in the boundaries set for the fire. Firefighters and fire suppression equipment are near the site if the fire grows out of control (www.nps.gov/wica/fir-why.html, pgs. 1-3). While not all the effects of prescribed burns are known some are very evident. The first of these common effects is that vegetation and fallen dead material are burned creating an open forest floor. This eliminates any fuel that could contribute to a high intensity fire in the future. When the fire burns the organic material in the forest, nutrient rich ash is left behind. When the first rain comes, the nutrients in the ash dissolve into the soil for the new plants to use. This process is called nutrient recycling. These nutrients left in the soil are a good source of food for the young plants that will begin to grow back. Another outcome of prescribed fire is that new growth begins immediately after the fires have been extinguished. Within
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