A forestfire is any uncontrolled fire in combustible vegetation that occurs in the countryside or a wilderness area. Other names such as brush fire, bushfire, forest fire, grass fire, hill fire, peat fire, vegetation fire, veldfire, and wildland fire may be used to describe the same phenomenon depending on the type of vegetation being burned. A wildfire differs from other fires by its extensive size, the speed at which it can spread out from its original source, its potential to change direction unexpectedly, and its ability to jump gaps such as roads, rivers and fire breaks. Forest fires are characterized in terms of the cause of ignition, their physical properties such as speed of propagation, the combustible material present, and the effect of weather on the fire.
Forest fires can cause extensive damage, both to property and human life, but they also have various beneficial effects on wilderness areas. Some plant species depend on the effects of fire for growth and reproduction, although large forest fires may also have negative ecological effects.
Strategies of wildfire prevention, detection, and suppression have varied over the years, and international wildfire management experts encourage further development of technology and research. One of the more controversial techniques is controlled burning: permitting or even igniting smaller fires to minimize the amount of flammable material available for a potential wildfire. While some forest fires burn in remote forested regions, they can cause extensive destruction of homes and other property located in the wildland-urban interface: a zone of transition between developed areas and undeveloped wilderness.
The four major natural causes of wildfire ignitions are lightning, volcanic eruption, sparks from rockfalls, and spontaneous combustion. The thousands of coal seam fires that are burning around the world, such as those in Centralia, Burning... [continues]
Cite This Essay
(2011, 04). Forest Fires. StudyMode.com. Retrieved 04, 2011, from http://www.studymode.com/essays/Forest-Fires-669438.html
"Forest Fires" StudyMode.com. 04 2011. 04 2011 <http://www.studymode.com/essays/Forest-Fires-669438.html>.
"Forest Fires." StudyMode.com. 04, 2011. Accessed 04, 2011. http://www.studymode.com/essays/Forest-Fires-669438.html.