Essay on Wildfires
Number of words: 1115
Wildfires are unplanned and unwanted fires that consume flammable vegetation and start in both rural and urban centers. The unexpected nature of the fire makes it a destroyer of our precious vegetation and forest. It is, therefore, worthy of us to understand the causes and possible effects of the wildfire. Notably, the consequences can both be direct and indirect. In the United States, like other states, wildfire is considered a threat to both human and animal lives. It is also a threat to the property of the people. Therefore, discussions on the bushfires should be done in schools and other related areas to keep our general public awareness of what is expected of them to prevent the wildfires or do at the point of a fire outbreak.
Firstly, acknowledging that the wildfires exist and can occur at any unspecified time is crucial in preparing for corrective emergency measures to curb the spread and even put out the wildfire as soon as it happens. In fact, with the change in both climate and the environment, we must expect that the wildfires be a familiar story in our lives as we go about our activities. Acknowledging this does not only make us prepare to act when bushfires breakout, but also is a contributing factor behind the prevention of the occurrence of wildfires, especially in areas where it is rampant.
The effects of the wildfires range from the environment to individuals. The effects, in the end, affect humans indirectly or directly. To begin with, bush fires destroy both human and animal lives. Fire is deadly. Therefore, we need to protect precious life from any type of damage. The animals in the wild get consumed by the fire in the forest and natural environments (Frost 2020). The unplanned nature of the fire puts the lives of both humans and animals at a greater risk. Homes close to such combustible vegetation also get consumed by the wildfire. Timber, especially in the planted forest, and the indigenous species of trees are destroyed by the fire, causing a loss of several billions of U.S. dollars of timber. The smoke from the fire is a health risk to humans. Smoke is a predisposing factor for many respiratory conditions affecting people across the U.S. (Reardon 2018). The wildfire is a producer of carbon dioxide, makes it a significant contributor to the greenhouse effect. The effects of the bushfire are subjective the condition of the forest before the fire and the actions taken or not taken at the point of an outbreak. The fire results are long-lasting on the landscape, and this calls out for action by the general public and the United States Forest Service to protect the environment, land, and people.
Disappointingly enough, human beings are the leading causes of wildfires. One would expect much from humans to protect the ecosystem, which is not the case as research reveals man as the leading cause of the wildfire. Wind can lead to the spread of fire from burning debris. Burning debris is legal, but care needs to be taken to control the effects of the same (Mietkiewicz et. al. 2020). Unattended campfires are flimsy grounds that can lead to bush fires. Fireworks and cigarettes accidentally lead to wildfires. Amateur handling of fireworks can be so destructive. The cigarettes and fireworks may end up as flames are improperly handled. Arson is found to be the cause of 30% of all wildfires in the United States. One may intentionally set fire on a property or even a forest on fire deliberately and cause a lot of damage.
Despite the human causes, wildfires also result from natural causes such as volcanic eruptions and lightning. The hot lightning is lengthy and can result in sparks that cause wildfires.
The problem persists due to the changing climate over time. The rain and snow have been greatly affected by climate change (Nagy et. al 2018). There have been record-breaking temperatures that have increased the rate of wildfires and drought for several months. At this point, there is no resolution to the ongoing wildfires; people will ultimately lose interest in protecting and taking care of the forests. Homes and businesses can be at risk if the problem is not resolved.
Solutions to wildfires require the contribution of the general public and that of the officers of the United States Forest Services. In fact, most solutions revolve around humans’ behavior since their behavior and themselves have caused a lot of damage (Mietkiewicz et. al. 2020). First, it is advisable to abide by the local regulation and laws concerning burning fires and what is legal to burn. Secondly, the public needs to keep themselves updated on the weather forecast to prevent burning things in a windy environment predisposing conditions (Huffman 2020). One should also note the areas prone to wildfires and take care.
Fires should only be areas that make it easy to contain them as this facilitates easy putting out if a risk is noticed or an emergency occurs. Burning combustible materials should also be avoided at all costs (Huffman et. al. 2020). Cigarette smokers are advised to avoid smoking in areas where smoking is prohibited. In fact, the cigarette should be put out before disposing of it. The children should be acquainted with safety precautions for camping. The U.S. forest service clears branches ad vegetation that can fuel wildfire within the forests. This reduces the risk of fire.
Keeping by the rules and safety regulations can save the homes and lives of many people and precious animals in the forest. Humans should be the front runners to offering solutions to wildfire. Knowing the rules makes as the solution and not the cause. Despite the solution being against the natural balance caused by wildfire in the ecosystem, it would be appropriate for us to protect the precious lives of humans and animals within our environment.
Frost, L. R. (2020). California Wildfires, Land Erosion, and the Effects on Ranchers and Farmers.
Huffman, D. W., Roccaforte, J. P., Springer, J. D., & Crouse, J. E. (2020). Restoration Applications of Resource Objective Wildfires in Western US forests: A status of knowledge review. Fire Ecology, 16(1), 1-13.
Mietkiewicz, N., Balch, J. K., Schoennagel, T., Leyk, S., St Denis, L. A., & Bradley, B. A. (2020). In the Line of fire: Consequences of Human-ignited Wildfires to Homes in the US (1992–2015). Fire, 3(3), 50.
Nagy, R., Fusco, E., Bradley, B., Abatzoglou, J. T., & Balch, J. (2018). Human-related ignitions increase the number of large wildfires across US ecoregions. Fire, 1(1), 4.
Reardon, S. (2018). Raging wildfires send scientists scrambling to study health effects. Nature, 561(7722), 157-159.