Wildfires Essay

521 WordsJun 27, 20123 Pages
"Wildfire" is the term applied to any unwanted, unplanned, damaging fire burning in forest, shrub or grass, and is one of the most powerful natural forces known to people. While sometimes caused by lightning, nine out of ten wildfires are human-caused. Fires can be devastating to a home, property, rangeland, community, or state. Although often harmful and destructive to humans, naturally occurring wildfires play an integral role in nature. There are three conditions that need to be present in order for a wildfire to burn: fuel, oxygen, and heat source. These violent infernos occur around the world and in most of the 50 states, but they are most common in the U.S. West, where heat, drought, and frequent thunderstorms create perfect wildfire conditions. Without the good growing conditions in Texas early last year there would not have been enough grass to fuel the types of wildfires we have been seeing this year. Nevertheless wildlife has become adapted to live with occasional wildfires over the years. The majority of wildlife exposed to wildfires will see a drastic reduction in their amount of cover and a drastic increase in their exposure to starvation and predation. In addition many animals forced to move to more suitable areas will often have to do so at unusual times and in unusual locations. As a result, many of them find themselves coming in contact with humans and, more specifically, their vehicles. On the other hand some animals will perish in fires, especially small animals, insects, and older and weaker individuals. Without adequate shelter, wildlife is exposed to the elements, requiring them to use up more energy to stay cool or warm. In the light of this situation is easy to see that food and shelter survival and reproduction will be reduced drastically the longer they are exposed. Lastly wildfires do not always have a negative effect on

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