Forest areas are particularly susceptible to fires, which are mostly manmade although sometimes these could be the result of lighting strike during serve thunderstorms. Forest fires lead to heavy destruction of forest resources and disturb the wild life as well. Forest fires add to the deforestation process as it takes many years for the forest to grow again. In many cases, the forestland gets spoilt or taken over by vested interests for other activities.
The nature and amount of vegetation cover and other combustible material such as dead wood, dry leaves, determine the nature and extent of forest fires. High atmospheric temperatures, dryness (low humidity), the strength of the prevailing wind and the slope of the ground are important factors in the spread of forest fire.
The most common type of forest fire is a “surface fire”. It involves lighter material such as dry leaves lying on the ground, bushes and small hardwood trees. Surface fire is generally slow moving and flames can rise almost one to two meters high. As the surface fire intensifies by burning more material, heavier bushes and medium size trees starts burning and the flames may rise as high as five meters or more. On further intensification, forest fire flames may reach the top of even the tall trees creating “crown fire”. These crown fires, burning up to the heights of top of all trees, are the most dangerous forest fires. Many a times, burning trees explode due to intense heat. This is a sure indication that the forest fire is reaching the crowning stage, which involves extreme danger.
Large and intense forest fires can create strong air convection currents, which blow hot embers up in the air and carry them to long distances of even a kilometer or two. These embers can ignite new areas of forest fires or create fire in village areas adjacent to forests.
Forest Fire: Help Or Harm? Essay
It is six o'clock at night when a forest ranger gets a call informing him or her that a fire has broken out in the forest. Should the ranger call the fire department to come extinguish the fire immediately, or should the ranger allow the fire to burn itself out? This question has been the topic of conversation for many years. However, during the years of 2001 and 2003, this question had become much more publicized due to the catastrophic fires that broke out across the United States. The answer to this question has been debated many times. Should nature be allowed to take its course? I believe that nature should be allowed to proceed without any interruption and fire is a part of nature.
Fire has been an essential part of forested ecosystems for centuries. Fire recycles forest nutrients, deters unwanted noxious weeds, thins out thickets of trees, and rejuvenates forests. Fires creates plant and animal habitats and encourages the growth of native plants. Fire was the forest management tool foe Native Americans for thousands of years. "Native Americans used fire in virgin pine stands to provide better access, improve hunting, and to rid the land of undesirable species" (Nix). Wild-land fire causes change and change has its own value.
"Change is biologically necessary to maintain many healthy ecosystems" (Nix). Frequent burning keeps wildlife and the forests they live in healthy and sustainable. Although foresters and ecologists know that removing fire from forests devastates long-term forest health, firefighters still extinguish almost all fires. The United States Forest Service and the United States Congress have been working together to find a way to carefully restore fire to forested areas. However, environmental groups are trying to keep fire out of all forests.
In 2002, President Bush launched the Healthy Forest Initiative (HFI). Bush created this initiative due to the catastrophic fires that burned across California,...
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