What You Need To Know About Forest Fires

Forest fires, also known as wildfires or wildland fires, happen around the world and in most habitats. Education about forest fires and how they start can help you keep your environment safe and prevent fires from happening.


Fires burn using oxygen, fuel and heat, which is known as the fire triangle. The fuel refers to shrubs, brush and other woodland debris that fire feeds on. Wildland firefighting crews are the front line workers when it comes to controlling fires in the forest. They are highly trained firefighters who typically have a firefighter certification Texas and are at their peak physical fitness level. These crews are trained in the different types of fire suppression techniques so they can fight any type of fire effectively.


There are three types of forest fires, which include crown fires, surface fires and ground fires. Crown fires are the most dangerous type. This fire climbs trees and can jump from one tree to the next, making the fire spread quickly. The least destructive type of fire is the surface fire. Surface fires are low to the ground, only burn surface debris and cause little damage to the forest. Ground fires happen below the surface in areas of deep accumulation of forest debris. It’s slow movement can be helpful in managing the fire, but they’re dangerous due to the ability to smolder under the surface in the cold months. When it warms up again, the fire begins to spread and grow.


The two causes of forest fires are lightning and humans. Lightning fires typically happen in more rural areas and may be allowed to burn if the area needs to be cleaned out a bit in a weak ecosystem. If the fire looks like it’s getting out of control, the wildland firefighters will step in. If multiple lighting strikes start fires, it may be difficult for firefighters to know where to start. They may be different intensities and heading in different directions. The firefighters need to know the area and if the fires will affect neighborhoods. Humans are the other cause of forest fires and most often happen through careless mistakes, such as leaving a bonfire burning or throwing a cigarette into the woods. This type of fire usually occurs in a more populated area and can be reported quickly so it can be extinguished.

Awareness is key to preventing forest fires. If you’re camping or hiking, make sure the fires you start are completely out before you leave the area to prevent damage to the environment.

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