WILDFIRE, Did you know that tress contains the same compound as gasoline! When wood is heated to 150°C its cells start to breakdown and release volatile gases we know these gases as smoke. They are actually full of hydrocarbons the same kind of molecules we find in fuels like octane and methane. When they are heated up enough hydrocarbons ignite easily and burn really well so that smoking wood conceive hotter those gas react quickly with the oxygen in the air and combust from flames.
That chemistry is responsible for more than 100,000 uncontrollable reactions that commonly known as wildfires. In the US together consume up to 3,000,000 hectares of forest and brush every year, that’s an area about the same as the size of Finland burning annually. However, that’s not entirely a bad thing. Fires serve a lot of important ecological purposes when an ecosystem have adopted to make most of it the problem is that fire job is to destroy things but when that includes human territory which is pretty much everywhere be a problem. Wildfires are really amazing force of nature, they can lead across highways creating their own wind and in certain conditions move it to approximately 30 kilometers/hour.
Scientists are beginning to find how and where wildfires are occurring, which is becoming faster than we think. It makes sense when you think about it but every fire requires three things heat, oxygen, and fuel. Forrester knows this as the fire triangle, while fires will always spread direction has the most abundant of these three elements. Likewise, the only way to put the fire out is to eliminate or at least significantly limit one of these things.
The source of heat that starts the fire can be either natural or lighting a match or the campfire. But which fuel actually ignites from the heat depends on the number of factors like moisture content of the place even on how it happens to be spread out over the environment. Light fuels like grasses and leaves tend to dry out and burn quickly whereas heavy fuels like the branches and trunks of trees will take longer to warmer and to ignite. Either way, it’s really the quantity of fuel that determines the weather the fire can spread.
Air is made up of about 21% oxygen and most fire requires only at least 16% oxygen to get started and keep going. Putting together these three elements combined from nature’s most powerful, important and transformative forces. Even though we typically think of fire as in terms of what it could destroy but many ecosystems depend on it for renewal and nutrients. On grasslands, fires promote the growth of herbs and grasses and prevent trees and non-native plants from crowding amount. The fire has been such a constant part of the forest ecosystem that abundant species actually adapted to take full advantage of it. There is the jack pine that opens the seeds when exposed to fire dropping it’s seeded into the ashes richen soil. Every single living jack pine can die in the fire but this adaptation makes sure that new ones will grow in there place.
We tend to call them natural disasters but wildfires are almost the result of human behavior. Approximately 90% caused by humans and the other 10% by nature like lighting or lava spread. The new fact comes up that water is great for fighting fires. Water attack all three parts of the fire triangle that dampens wooden grasses tends to reduce fuels, it cools things down from the ground and in the air the amount of heat and it helps block oxygen. One important lesson that we learn about fighting the wildfires is not to fight with them.