Wildfires: Factors and Effects

Many countries such as Australia has a wide area of forest. Most common scenarios of disaster which happened on the said country is Wildfire. But what is this phenomenon?


The devastating nature of wildfires in our forest are phenomenal. Below are the most common ways which could start a wildfires: 

1. Campfires

In many different places camping is a bonding time of some families. old or young member of the family spend time in the woods to cherish every outdoor activities. Sometimes fire is needed and if not put out properly it could really start a wildfire.

2. Smoking

Drivers, bikers or even  walkers who pass along forest do smoking. At certain times, left overs of cigarettes are not properly disposed and can result a fire and create a wildfire.

3. Lightning

According to investigators, lightning is the very common cause of a good number of wildfires. When lightning strikes and produce a spark, the possibility is it will hit trees, power cables and even rocks and just set them off.



4. Burning Debris

Some common items such as plastics, junk and yard waste are permitted to burn everywhere. People think how to disposed them faster is through burning them away. But, that act can get out of hand and can start a fire.

5. Fireworks

In many places, fireworks are banned because of its explosive nature and high potential to start a fire. If not handled carefully, they can end up as fires elsewhere.

6. Arson

Is the act of setting fire to a certain property, piece of land or anything with the intention of causing damage to it. Arson specialist believe that many wildfires are started by arsonist ( who does the act ) and may account about 30% of all wildfire cases.


Factors such as wind, slope, temperature, humidity,times and season, fuels, and space between fuels provide a complex web of ingredients that help wildfires to burn more and quicker.




Effects of Wildfires

1. Economic Cost

A vast range of wildfire results to an immediate damage to wildlife and vegetation. Hence, it affects the economy of such country. Fires can destroy houses and almost anything in its way. And admittedly, such country which suffers this phenomenon spends million of money to fight them with air crafts and trucks, chemicals, logistics, time and personnel.

2. Soils and Organic Matter

Take for example are forest soils which are rich in nutrients and decaying compositions and are composed of many natural features that support life forms and organic activities. Wildfires raise the temperature of forest soils to over 900 degree Celsius and potentially wipe away all the soils organic value.

3. Watershed

Another effect of wildfire is on watersheds. Burned organic matter in the soil ( volatized  organic compounds)also affects the natural layering of soils. This negatively affects infiltration (permeation of a liquid into something by filtration.) and percolation ( process of a liquid slowly passing through a filter) in making the soil surfaces water repellent.

eSchooltoday .Your Cool Facts and Tips on Wildfires. Retrived January 11 2017 from http://eschooltoday.com/natural-disasters/wildfires/behaviour-of-wildfires.html.





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