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What is WildFire? Causes, Effects, Anthropogenic, and More
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What is WildFire? Causes, Effects, Anthropogenic, and More


A Wildfire is a fire of great magnitude that spreads uncontrollably in some forest area, that is, basically made up of trees.

Unlike other types of fires, it spreads very quickly over large areas, changes direction suddenly, and can navigate enormous obstacles such as rivers and roads.

Forest fires have great destructive power. It is as if they had a life of their own because they can advance at a speed of up to 23 kilometres per hour, setting the fire and consuming everything in front of them.

For a fire to occur, you need a) a fuel, usually dry vegetation, b) oxygen from the air, and c) a heat source. Fuels are any flammable material. A material begins to burn when its temperature increases to the point of ignition (or ignition). It depends on the material in question.

Forest fires appear to have been more common during times when the atmosphere has a higher proportion of oxygen; it was the case of the Carboniferous period.

Causes of Wildfires

The initiation and development of a forest fire depend in part on the climate. The topography, the shape of the fuel and its humidity level. The more energy there is in an area, the more intense the fire will be.


  • Although human beings are primarily responsible for forest fires, it does not mean that nature does not affect their development. A man can throw a lit cigarette into a forest, and if it contains dry vegetation, a forest fire is likely to develop.


  • A long-duration lightning strike to Earth brings with it sparks, enough to ignite fuel.


  • Drought favours the conditions for the development of a forest fire as it stimulates combustion.

The heat from the sun:

  • Intense heat, coupled with a drought, can dry out vegetation and this can be a potential fuel.
  • In all cases, one factor in determining a high temperature or temperatures. Also, strong winds can help spread sparks and increase fires.


  • It takes very little to start a forest fire. It even knows that the movement of the wheels of a train on the tracks produces sparks that, if they reach a combustible material, make fire.

Wildfire in a forest in Portugal

  1. Anthropogenic causes refer to human activities. Most of these causes have to do with carelessness and irresponsibility.
  2. Some of these are campfires, and cigarettes are thrown away without being extinguished—agricultural burning that gets out of control, fireworks, and even arson.
  3. At other times, inappropriate waste disposal causes fires that is, the burning of garbage. In addition to producing air and soil pollution. If its control is lost, it is prone to grow, advance and consume large hectares of land.

Effects of Wildfires

  • Wildfires are a danger to everything in their path, posing risks to life and urban infrastructure.
  • On the one hand, they destroy large areas of forests and therefore plant life when a forest fire burns all the vegetation in a specific area.
  • It weakens the organic matter content of the soil and makes it difficult for it to absorb water; as a result, a process of erosion can start.
  • Animals and humans do not escape the effects, as many can perish burned if they do not run in time. On the other hand, fires destroy buildings and cause severe material losses.
  • However, there is a bright side wildfire return nutrients to the soil after the decomposition of organic matter. Kill plants with pests that can affect others, and allow sunlight to reach the ground in full power, thus that causes the germination of the seeds and the beginning of a new plant generation.

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