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Analysing The Effects Of Forest Fires Environmental Sciences Essay

Paper Type: Free Essay Subject: Environmental Sciences
Wordcount: 1944 words Published: 1st Jan 2015

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Problem Area, Facts and Figures. A forest is an area which consists of a high density of trees. It contribute a major part of the ecosystem which are dominated with trees and other woody vegetation all the living organism of forest such as (plants, trees , herbs ,fungi, mammals birds , insects, reptiles , amphibians and other microorganism ) interact with each other and with the non living part of the environment to make a forest

Forest Geographical Area

A recent survey by Global Forest Resource Assessment 2010 (FRA2010) was collected and analyzed from 233 countries and area of the world, the total area of the world’s forest cover in the year 2010 is estimated just over 4 billion hector which corresponds to 31 percent of the total land area, where the area of the forest is not uniformly distributed. The map of the World’s forests is illustrated in figure.1 which presented by Global Forest Resource Assessment 2010 (FRA 2010).


The World’s Forest

Global Forest Resource Assessment (FRA 2010)

Forest Land Water

The Russian Federation, Canada, Brazil, the United States of America and China are the five most forest rich countries. And they contribute of 53 percent of the total forest area, whereas 64 countries have no more than 10 percent of the forest land area. In figure 1.1 describe the pie chart of the regional distribution of forest level with respect to total area of the world’s forest. We observe that Europe including Russia contains 25 percent of the forest.

Figure 1.1

Distribution of forests by region 2010

Global Forest Resource Assessment (FRA 2010)

In addition 21 percent of the forest is covered by South America and 17 percent is existed in Africa and North and Central America. More specifically after study of Swedish forest statistics we have also find that Sweden is the second biggest country of the Europe after Russia in forestry and approximate 66 percent of the total land area is covered with forest.



Wildfire and Causes

As from the above discussion we observe that forest is contributing in major part of the world. Forest fires are one of nature’s unpredictable natural disasters and have caused tremendous loss to the humans, the animals and the nature, forest fires also known as wildfire, a small spark or the sun’s heat in the forest can produces a destructive conflagration. Wildfire can quickly spread all over the forest in a second once a fire begins it can spread at a rate of 23 kilometer per hour, capturing everything in its path.

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Sometime on a peak hot day in forest a small spark from a wheel of a car or train’s wheels striking on a track can ignite a wildfire, these wildfire can also be occur naturally like when heat produces from the sun and temperature rises on a dried forest area or a strike from the lightening in the forest, Moreover temperature is the physical quantity of the material and if the temperature goes rises in the woods at approximate to 300 Celsius it will start produces hydrocarbon gases and mix with the oxygen in the air to initiate fire. As a result it is true that weather plays a vital role in the birth and growth of the wildfire and even makes it more difficult in controlling of fire. Wind in the wildfires has the biggest property to move the fire at high rate across the land and can easily change the direction of fire that can damage other human property in the forest. It also examine that most of the forest fire is due to the carelessness of human activity.

Climatic change and human activities are the main cause of wildfire. Below are the common causes of wildfire:

Human causes – One of the major causes of the wildfire is due to human carelessness which includes fireworks or playing with matches, throwing burned cigarettes, campfires, and improperly burning debris are the examples of human causes which result in wildfire.

Lightning – Lightning is also another reason for wildfire which occur an average scale from three to five per year. Consequently lighting also brings rain in the forest, such wildfire do not cover large areas of the forest. The most recent fire is detected in United State of America and known as Wrangler wildfire, on Wednesday, October 13, 2010 in the Kistachie Hills Wilderness on the Kistachie National Forest. It is also determine that lighting are the main cause of Wrangler fire which covers 95 percent of the total area

Farming – In farming for clearing the land area cutting and burring of woodlands are the common practices which results in catastrophic wildfire

Volcanic Activity – Another distractive cause of the wildfire are the explosion of volcanoes that are located near the forest areas,

Underground Coal – Sometime underground coal fires or mine fire are the causes of wildfires, this cause of fires continue to burn for several years and have direct effect on countries’ economic, social and ecological impacts. It also produces some kind of toxic fumes which eventually help in the destruction of human property and forest life





Wildfire and Effects

Forest fire occurs every year and burn a large cultivated area of the forest worldwide. This resulting loss and degradation of forest land and has a direct effect on human societies and forest ecosystem; it can destroy buildings, crops and plantations, loss of foods and shelters can ultimately results in loss of wildlife or in other word major assets of the land might be demolish in this natural disaster.

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In the year 2007 Greek forest fires produces a massive destruction in the summer seasons and spread out very quickly in the several areas of Greece and destroy farmland, olives groves and thousands of houses, and even a large numbers of firefighters also loss their lives in this incident .Greek Forest fire in August 2007 was consider as the worst wildfire recorded in past 50 years



Firefighter and Problems

Firefighters or firemen are rescuers specialized in controlling of hazardous fires that intimidate civilian populations and their property, rescue peoples from different incidents such as road accidents , burning buildings and other crises response The goals of firefighters according to priority are own safety, saving victims’ lives, saving property, and also protecting the environment.

Firefighter plays an essential role in tackling of wildfire, they faces many difficulties in extinguish the wildfire, for example as wildfire is commonly occurs in dense forest areas and therefore it become almost very hard to quickly reach near to affected area of the forest, and it is due to different obstacles in the path, Moreover It is also seen that most of the firefighter suffer with lungs problems due to the heavy smokes surround them during their job work.

Wildfire A Global Problem

Wildfires are the global problems around the world, apart from Middle East, Antarctica and desert regions, spend huge amounts of money annually to tackle wildfires. Each year around the world several wildfires occurs in different countries locations, below is the description of some wildfire take place from the year 2006 – 2010 and their causes and cost of damage in different countries of the world.

It is also observe that at the current time wildfire in Sweden varies between few hundreds to thousands hectares in wet and dry years respectively and the number of wildfires occurrence ranges from 2100 to 3500 annually

Year 2006

On 2006 March 31 Africa suffered a net loss of forest which was measured as the second highest forest lost in the world, it was due the cause of conversion the forest land in to agriculture land , and the net loss was determine in that period per year goes to more than 4 million hectares.

In the year 2006 Bulgaria face a catastrophic period of wildfire, a randomly number of forest fire occurs in March, August and September, and it cause because of burning wastage vegetables and stubbles by the farmers , Moreover it was measured as 190 fires were the causes by human activities which leads to the economical damage of 270, 000 Euro.

On October 29, 2006 The Esperanza Fire was started in a river wash near Cabazon, California, west of Palm Springs, California , Wildfire causes was arson and it cover 61 square miles (160 km-seq) and was 85 percent contained and gradually it reach to 100 percent which resulted in the death of firefighters , house , and buildings. The total damage from Esperanza fire was estimated as above US$9 million


Year 2007

In California June 24, 2007 the Angora fire a wind driven fire was started due to the cause of illegal campfire and the fire was 100 percent contained and burned the area of 12.5 (km-seq) and destroyed 67 business structures, 242 residences and damaged 35 other homes which estimated the total fire cost up to US$11.7 million

Year 2008

In April and May 2008 the Trigo wildfire was started in New Mexico, United States of America and burned 59 homes on the location and spread over 54 km-seq, Trigo wildfire badly affected the communities of Manzano , Torreon and Tajique, The direct loss of Trigo fire was $10 million which count for the destruction of 59 homes and 40 business structures where as $ 11 million was used in firefighting.

In July 2008, Los Angeles Times reported that the month old Zaca wildfire had cost more than US$100 million and over US$2 million on just one of these days. Zaca fire was a major wildfire but it gives us an idea about the costs incurred by cities and nations around the world.

Year 2009

In August 14 2009 Yuba fire was started in the U.S. state of California’s Central Valley , Yuba County is a part of the greater Sacramento area, which burn up the area of 6seq miter and damage cost was estimated as US$12.1 million including two residential area and power lines

Also from August 26 – October 16 the Station Fire incident was detect in the Angeles National Forest near the U.S. Forest Service ranger station, The Station fire was counted as 10th largest wildfire in the history of California and the largest wildfire in Los Angeles that cost the approximate damage of US$ 93.8 million for fighting the fire including aviation cost,

Year 2010

In August 15 2010 Bolivia destructive forest fires started which force the country’s government to announce a state emergency; it was the largest fire which covers the eastern part along the country’s border with Brazil. It was very hard to control the fire because low water bombing aircraft. As a result from the fire’s smoke many flights and airports were close temporarily.

The cost of fighting B.C. forest fires in Canada during 2010 alone is close to CA$100 million, almost twice the budgeted costs


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