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Natural fires are actually very helpful to the ecosystem. They clear out dead plants, allowing nutrients to reproduce and give way for new plants to grow. Fire also can help in the reproduction of some plants.

How does a wildfire start?

A wildfire is normally caused by lightning, with some also being caused by dry fuel such as sawdust or leaves. Fires can also be created by humans, which damages the ecosystem if it happens too regularly. Some ways that humans can create wildfires are:

Smoking, recreation and equipment.

What is needed to create fire?

Something known as a 'Fire Triangle', is referring to the things needed to create fire. It is known as a triangle as only three things are needed; Oxygen, fuel and heat. This statement is used because of the three points of a triangle.

How long does a typical wildfire last for?

A typical wildfire lasts for more than five weeks. Wildfires now last up to TWICE as long than the 1980s. This means severe damage could be taken, and could hurt the ecosystem.

Other facts about wildfires!

Some facts about wildfires are:

  • A wildfire (also known as a forest fire or peat fire) is an uncontrolled fire.
  • Roughly 90% of wildfires are created by humans.
  • Wildfires are ALSO referred to as Surface Fires, Dependent Crown Fires, Spot Fires and Ground Fires by firefighters.
  • Crown Fires are spread by wind moving quickly atop trees. Running Crown Fires are even more dangerous because they are extremely hot, travel even quicker than Crown Fires and can change direction quickly.
  • One of the largest fires in recent history was in 1825 when a fire burnt in Maine and New Brunswick, Canada, burning 3 million acres of forest.

How can we help stop human made wildfires?

Barbecues, smoking, bonfires, fireworks and more can be risky for wildfire creation. We may not want to stop doing these things, but just by doing it less we can help to stop human made wildfires being so common.

Do you agree that these are the actions we should take to stop these wildfires?

Thank you for reading!


Comments (19)

  • E Seymour volunteer pic (2).jpg EXPERT: Emma Seymour, Litigation and Dispute Resolution Trainee, Clifford Chance
    27 Apr 2020

    Thanks for the interesting post Happy Politics! So, you say that wildfires now last twice as long as they did in the 1980s. Why do you think that might be?

    Reply to this comment
    1. Lyons Hall Primary School happy_fact | Lyons Hall Primary School B
      Emma Seymour, Litigation and Dispute Resolution Trainee, Clifford Chance's comment 27 Apr 2020

      Well, we are using a lot more fossil fuels than we did a while ago because we have thinks like cars now. This means that people are using fuel to get to the places and fuel at their destinations. I think that this is the reason behind what you were saying happy_politics. I also agree with you, awesome_robin. You are right, fires don't help the environment because they have to pay money to get the resources to get there to solve the problem. It also puts a strain on the NHS because there may be injuries which leads to pressure on their shoulders, which in not great, especially at a time like this. Does anyone else agree with me? Thanks for reading!

      Reply to this comment
    2. Hammond School logo happy_politics | Hammond Junior School A
      Emma Seymour, Litigation and Dispute Resolution Trainee, Clifford Chance's comment 15 May 2020

      I think this might be due to the heavily increasing fossil fuel useage. Most transportation units use fossil fuel and a very small percentage of cars use electric alternatives. This fossil fuel helps the fire to develop due to it’s damaging properties. This also creates MORE fires, resulting in less fire fighting teams to be on stand-by to get to the site quickly without waiting for more members to come if needed, due to increasing numbers of wild fires.
      However, you could argue this is slightly more balanced due to the fact we are losing precious trees, which breathe out oxygen. Without this oxygen, the fire cannot survive. This is NOT a good solution because we will also suffer from low oxygen if that path is taken, and the results would be fatal.

      Reply to this comment
  • global-conversation.png awesome_robin | Sacred Heart School | Ghana
    27 Apr 2020

    I agree 50 percent . because fire don't help the environment

    Reply to this comment
  • global-conversation.png delightful_snow | Donholm Primary School | Kenya
    28 Apr 2020

    People who put off fire with water, the water has oxygen so it will make the fire continue growing bigger. But water will put off a little fire. So we put off fire with some bushes.

    Reply to this comment
  • global-conversation.png positive_wolf | Sacred Heart School | Ghana
    28 Apr 2020

    Fires can cause damage to property and homes, but they are also a crucial instrument that has helped man forge tools and keep predators at bay. Even though burns can cause severe injuries to the skin, fire has also helped man cook food.
    Fire has played a role in social development for humankind. For example, early humans gathered around fireplaces to hold events and festivities. Fire also fostered creativity in man, such as burning clay to make ceramic items. Cavemen used fire to clear forests to make room for plants.
    Despite its usefulness, many people face injury and death due to fire. Fire can cause first-, second- and third-degree burns, which causes blisters, swelling and peeling of the skin. Fire can also be a workplace hazard.It can also destroy a lot of properties.
    That is why there is a saying that,"FIRE IS A GOOD SERVANT BUT A BAD MASTER".

    Reply to this comment
    1. tom Tom @ the BNC
      positive_wolf's comment 29 Apr 2020

      A balanced viewpoint, positive-wolf.

      Reply to this comment
  • Lyons Hall Primary School reliable_fig | Lyons Hall Primary School B
    29 Apr 2020

    I think that wildfires mostly start in countries near the equator because they are a lot hotter. If we told people to stop smoking, lots of people wouldn't listen because they enjoy it. Also, if we told people to stop having a BBQ nobody would do that because around my neighbourhood, there is at least 20 BBQ's a day! Lots of people are having bonfires because there is no other way to get rid of all your rubbish at the moment . This a bad thing (especially if you live near a forest!) because then the fire could spread easily, using your garden trees and bushes as a starting point. Lots of people are setting off fireworks on Thursday at 8:00 for the NHS clap, some of these are only small ones (like the ones around my neighbourhood) but because we are only allowed out for exercise, I don't know how big fireworks are that other people are setting off.

    thanks for reading,


    Reply to this comment
    1. tom Tom @ the BNC
      reliable_fig's comment 29 Apr 2020

      It's rare for a wildfire to start by people's bbqs in a town / settlement, but you're right to advise that were all careful!

      Reply to this comment
  • global-conversation.png ethical_conversation | Irene Secondary School | Kenya
    01 May 2020

    Fire has a disadvantage and advantages.
    Fire destroys peoples material possessions or properties it brings alot of losses okay example when fire strikes your home because of a leaking gas or someone has thrown a cigarette in a petrol station it will cause alot of harm to people as many people's will be in danger and many will lose what they valued.
    Let's look fire from a historic perspective the early man the one who invented fire the Homo erectus.
    The fire he invented helped in many ways it was used to keep People warm during the cold nights.
    Fire was used to frighten animals from man's dwelling place thus improved security.
    Fire was used to clear bushes to facilitate settlement
    Fire was used to provide light in the dwelling sites
    Communication between people living at different places was made possible by the use of fire and smoke signals
    Tool making was improved through the use of fire to harden sharpen tips of tools
    Fire enabled man to harden pottery which was used for storage.

    Fire has alot of advantage but it causes alot of pain when someone is in contact with it living big burns ,scalds in your hands or body parts alot of blisters

    Thanks for reading

    Reply to this comment
    1. Emily 1.jpg Emily @ the BNC
      ethical_conversation's comment 01 May 2020

      Hi ethical_conversation, thanks for your comment! I found this really interesting and it's great that you did some research. Where did you find these facts about the history of fire?

      Reply to this comment
      1. global-conversation.png ethical_conversation | Irene Secondary School | Kenya
        Emily @ the BNC's comment 04 May 2020

        Thanks for the question
        Actually l study history as one of my subjects when it comes to how the evolution occurred will find that the early man who invented alot of things
        .The history about fire is how l was taught in school and also our textbooks gives more information about it

        Reply to this comment
  • Hammond School logo brilliant_ibex | Hammond Junior School D
    01 May 2020

    That was incredible! I never knew that 90% of wildfires were caused by humans! You should feel really proud of yourself!

    Reply to this comment
  • global-conversation.png sincere_walrus | Achimota Basic School | Ghana
    08 May 2020

    Even though fire is dangerous to our health, environment, economy and financials. It has really helped us in many things such as; helping clear our farms, for cooking, for destroying predators, generating heat to warm us in cold weathers and also help to forge swords that warriors in most countries use to fight battles at battle fields.

    Reply to this comment
  • global-conversation.png invigorated_chicken | Archdeacon Crowther Memorial Girl's School, Elelenwo | Nigeria
    13 May 2020

    Wildfires has positive and negative effects
    Fire is often associated with negative impacts on the environment. We usually think of the damage and devastation fire causes to wildlife and vegetation, but a fire event can also be beneficial for our plants and animals. For example, fire:

    heats the soil, cracking seed coats and triggering germination
    triggers woody seed pods held in the canopy to open, releasing seed onto a fresh and fertile ash bed
    clears thick understorey reducing competition for seedlings
    encourages new growth that provides food for many animals
    creates hollows in logs and trees that can be used by animals for nesting and shelter.
    Negative effects of fire
    Fire can also:

    burn and damage vegetation communities, such as rainforest that take hundreds of years to recover
    kill or injure individual plants or animals
    cause erosion and subsequent sedimentation of creeks and wetlands
    open up areas to the impacts of weed and feral animal invasion as well as human access and vandalism.

    Reply to this comment
  • global-conversation.png positive_wolf | Sacred Heart School | Ghana
    13 May 2020

    Wildfire is a part of nature. It plays a key role in shaping ecosystems by serving as an agent of renewal and change. But fire can be deadly, destroying homes, wildlife habitat and timber, and polluting the air with emissions harmful to human health. Fire also releases carbon dioxide—a key greenhouse gas—into the atmosphere. Fire’s effect on the landscape may be long-lasting.

    Reply to this comment
  • Hammond School logo practical_tree | Hammond Junior School A
    15 Sep 2020

    The fires in Australia was bad we need to stop making fires as 90% should go down to 1%

    Reply to this comment

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