Wildfires- Anatomy of a Fire

Wildfire -an uncontrollable fire

Wildfires- Anatomy of a Fire

“Many ecosystems like prairie, savanna, chaparral and coniferous forest, evolve by needing fires for it’s vitality and renewal.”

Wildfires cause damage to homes, businesses, wildlife and human life. However, there are some plant species that depend on fire for growth and reproduction. Many ecosystems like prairie, savanna, chaparral and coniferous forest, evolve by needing fires for it’s vitality and renewal. These areas require fire to germinate and reproduce. Without fire certain species may be eliminated but are also harmful to the animals that depend on them for survival.

By definition a wildfire is an uncontrollable fire in an area of combustible vegetation that occurs in a countryside or a wilderness area. Wild fires, depending on the type of vegetation being burned may also be described as brush fire, forest fire, desert fire, grass fire, hill fire, and vegetation fire. Many factors taken into consideration of what type of fire it is include size, the speed at which it spreads, the potential it has to change course of direction and the ability to jump over roads, rivers and fire breaks. The biggest factor is what caused the fire, what are it’s characteristics? What was the ignition, combustible material and what is the current weather effect on the fire itself.

Properties- When all the elements of a fire come together it ignites. The source, ignition if you will… meets the combustible material, vegetation, it comes in contact with the correct amount of heat and the right amount of oxygen from the air. Certain fires never take off because the vegetation is too wet, so to speak. Vegetation which has been exposed to humidity and retain water are less likely to be combustible material. During droughts vegetation become dry and more flammable. Desert areas and areas with extended dry hot periods like Africa and South East Asia are much more likely to have wildfires due to the vegetation being so dry. Areas with extended dry hot periods such as Africa and Southeast Asia are easily engulfed in wildfires.

Only you can prevent WILDFIRES!!

In February of 2009 there were wildfires in south eastern Australia which burned over 450,000 acres and ended with 173 human fatalities. It was a combination of strong force winds and dry fuel.

According to Florida Service Wildfire specialists the top three causes of wildfires are: lightning, escaped burning debris, and arson. Nine out of ten wildfires are started by people.

Two weeks of no rain increase the risk of wildfires, even after heavy rain fall. This is the time where sparks from lawnmowers and other power equipment tend to spark and may start fires.

Here are some tips to keep your business, family and home safe.

Know what types of landscaping plants and trees will help keep your home or business safe. – Fire Wise Landscaping

Maintaining the Fire Wise Landscape

  • Keep trees and shrubs pruned six to ten feet from the ground.
  • Remove leaf clutter and dead and overhanging branches.
  • Mow the lawn regularly and dispose of cutting and debris promptly.
  • Store firewood away from the house.
  • Maintain the irrigation system regularly.
  • Familiarize yourself with local regulations regarding vegetative clearance, debris disposal, and fire safety requirements for equipment.
  • Use driveways, gravel rock ways, and grass ways to make a fuel break
  • Use non –flammable fencing such as metal around your home or business

A Florida Forest Service firefighter drives a bulldozer through woods while battling a brush fire near Bream Avenue and Pompino Drive on Feb. 21, 2012.

A Florida Forest Service firefighter drives a bulldozer through woods while battling a brush fire near Bream Avenue and Pompino Drive on Feb. 21, 2012.

Firefighters use bulldozers and plows to create fire breaks to contain blazes.

Forest Service firefighters use drip torches to ignite prescribed burns and to start backfires in the path of wildfires to stop their advance. – See more at: http://highlandstoday.com/hi/local-news/forest-rangers-explain-the-anatomy-of-fighting-wildfires-366198#sthash.Pk2Sjw4O.B6uIDdg5.dpuf

Remember fires can start at any time in any climate and can become out of control in seconds. Have fire extinguishers up to date and have practice fire drills for employees and family.

 

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