Across America, roughly nine out of 10 wildfires are caused by humans, wreaking havoc on properties and natural resources, and threatening lives. These preventable disasters are unplanned, accidental fires that start in forests or vegetative areas. Also known as wildfires, bushfires, forest fires, grass fires, and wetland fires, they all refer to the occurrence of uncontrolled fire that spreads and destroys everything in its path.
Officials in many areas throughout North America now consider forest fires to be regular incidents. However, they don’t have to be. Since most forest fires are preventable, it is crucial for outdoor folks to understand their responsibilities, roles, and how to prevent fires.
Fires start with a combination of three things: fuel, heat, and oxygen. Without all three of these components, a fire cannot ignite. Most forest fires start almost effortlessly since forests consist of dried, decaying wood, leaves, and other natural oxygenic combustibles. Humans unintentionally ignite forest fires through campfires, cigarettes, and other fuel sources. Combustibles like wood or leaves heat up from the sun or other heat sources.
Fires started from lightning account for about 2.1 million acres burned, according to a 10-year average of United States forest fires. In contrast, human-started fires were responsible for burning 1.9 million acres. According to researchers, there are roughly ten times more human-caused forest fires than lightning-caused ones. The numbers of the 10-year average show 88 percent of United States forest fires are human-caused (accidental), and the remaining 12 percent are attributed to lightning strikes.
To prevent forest fires, keep the following in mind:
- Never leave a fire unattended
- Check weather and drought conditions
- Be cautious with heat and fire
- Consider wind patterns
- Carry/pack a fire extinguisher
- Watch a fire extinguish before leaving by dousing it with water until it’s cold
- Choose battery options over a fire
- Consider safer alternatives to fireworks
- Be a responsible smoker or, better yet, quit
- Clean the burn area
- Build your campfire in an open location, far from flammables
- Call 911 if the fire has gotten even slightly out of hand
Since humans are the leading cause of fires, they can also pave the way for prevention. It is imperative that we all respect Mother Nature and be respectful of our actions.
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Written by the digital marketing team at Creative Programs & Systems: https://www.cpsmi.com/