How forest fires start and why they are sometimes good

Forest fires, as well as wildfires, bush or plant fires, are often described as uncontrolled burning of plants in forests, grasslands, brush lands, and tandra.

These fires can be of three types: surface fires, ground fires, and crown fires. Floors are the easiest to control fires and burn only small amounts of plant waste. Ground fires, also known as ground fires, burn in humus, peat, and vegetation.

Although such fires spread very slowly, they are often difficult to extinguish or completely extinguish, making them dangerous. Crown fires are very powerful and dangerous forest fires because they burn whole trees and can spread rapidly on top of trees due to the wind.

The United Nations Environment Program 2022 report on wildfires Although human negligence and lightning can start wildfires, climate change, land use changes, and poor forest management are making these fires burn faster than ever.

The report provides a new classification for forest fires – landscape fires and wildfires. Landslides are described as seasonal, medium-sized (under extreme conditions), easily controlled, and low environmental impact (which may have a positive effect on some species). Extreme fires are called extreme phenomena, which are extremely powerful, difficult to control and have great social, economic, and environmental impacts.

Causes of fire

World Wildlife Fund Natural forest fires can be caused by lightning, volcanic activity, and coal burning, although they are relatively rare.

Typically, human negligence — often with careless throwing matches or cigarettes, or uncontrolled fires — can trigger an uncontrolled fire, although in many cases an active fire is suspected. In India, more than 95% of forest fires are caused by people unknowingly or carelessly.

Forest burning behavior is largely based on three factors – fuel (plant size, structure, continuity and dryness), weather (temperature, relative humidity, sunlight, rainfall and wind speed / direction) and topography (slope, surface) And). Height).

All of these factors affect how quickly a forest fire appears, its intensity, distribution rate, flame height and duration. High levels of dry fuel and low relative humidity combined with high winds can ignite relatively small fires into a wildfire that can consume forest land.

Control of forest fires

Technology to combat wildfires is very limited, but it is very important in identifying fires in the first place and can be used to predict fire hazards in a given day. This is because the nature of forest fires is highly dependent on environmental factors such as climate, fuel supply and topography. Therefore, a thorough understanding of these conditions and appropriate arrangements in the event of a fire are the best strategies to deal with forest fires.

In addition, strengthening fire prevention and emergency response systems will help to better manage forest fires, especially by developing local communities. A.D. Firefighting at the Nilgiri Biosphere Reserve seems to have paid off, as the frequency of general fires and burns has decreased between 1989 and 2014.

2016 Almora forest fire. Photo Credit Reply Ramwick / Wikipedia Commons

To create a “fire hazard”, it is possible to reduce the risk of forest fires by equalizing the supply of fuel in fire-prone areas by pre-burning plants in strategic areas. Uncontrolled noise, controlled fires have been found to be very important in both forest fire prevention and forest management while controlling fires.

Good forest fires

According to Barat Sandara, an assistant professor of environmental studies at the University of Crimea, India has a variety of forests, each of which responds to fire.

Commenting on alternatives to forest fires, he noted that regular forest fires (forests of the North Deacon of North-Central India) and Savana (such as the “forest” covered by the Bandipur grass) are frequent fires. Millions of years. “With the amazing sycamore ground system, it is protected by ice and fire, creating frost and dead plants, and fire that prevents plants from entering when it occurs on the lawn,” he wrote.

However, other systems, such as West Gats, Northeast India, and the Himalayas, have not been exposed to forest fires on a regular basis, so these forests cannot withstand even small fires.

Land of fig trees in Nile. The lawn system is protected by snow and fire, frost causes tree rot and the grass dies and prevents fire from entering the plants when it occurs on the lawn. Photo Credit Closing Individual SG / Flickr

Although wildfires can be dangerous, not all forest fires are bad. Indigenous people, such as Soligas and Kurubas, use controlled forest fires in landscaping. Landslides in these communities have reduced hepatic populations and possibly reduced the incidence of tick-borne diseases, as well as encouraged the growth of grasses used as fodder.

The tribe’s choice of shots stimulated grass growth and reduced tree growth, helping these people to graze their pastures. This not only ensures better visibility and safer activity for collecting non-timber forest products, but also supports the growth of wildflowers without the knowledge of local wildlife.

However, since the British X-ray fire was completely banned, local communities have indicated that hempas are now holding large trees. Moreover, the invader Lantana Widespread in the forest, extensive deforestation and changes in forest structure.

A.D. A landslide in Bandipur in February 2019 that destroyed more than 60 square kilometers of forest was caused by a lack of knowledge on how to provide ecological services.

The general ban on forest fires is that grass or “cold” fires usually burn quickly at very low temperatures. Draconian firefighting policies combined with invasive distribution Lantana It contributed to the oil boom, which caused extensive fires that killed entire trees.

Bad forest fire

Forest fires can have a devastating effect on biodiversity and are especially dangerous in the Himalayan forests, where they are a rare source of flora and fauna.

In addition, forest fires directly affect the economic stability of many forest communities and depend on non-timber forest products as a source of income. By the end of May 2021, the Indian Forestry Department had issued more than 3,000 fire alerts, nearly three times as many as last year. Forest residents, shaken by the economic impact of the CV-19 lock, have been severely affected.

In connection with the loss of income, many fires this year were even more intense than ever before, and it was feared that their homes would burn. During the 2020-2021 peak fires (November-June) there were more than 21,000 large forest fires, of which more than 1,500 were burned for four days or more. Of these, 24 lasted 10 days, and two burned for two weeks. This year, India’s forest survey saw more than 7,800 wildfires in three days in late April.

Forest fires directly affect the economic stability of many forest communities and depend on non-timber forest products as a source of income. Photo Credit Dead Indian Water Portal / Flyer

At a time when the world is looking for solutions by locking up carbon dioxide into the forest, grass, soil, and other areas, fires, especially large forest fires, are reversing these efforts. A.D. In just one month (March 2120), the Uttar Pradesh forest released about 0.2 megawatts of carbon.

Globally, forest fires accounted for about 1.76 per gram of carbon emissions, accounting for 5% of the total 36 per gram emissions. In an effort to curb these emissions, the practice of collecting large-sized timber was introduced (to “reduce” the fuel load in the forest), but recent work shows that this practice may do more harm than good.

Collecting such trees will result in more carbon emissions if forest fires occur. Such situations suggest that a better understanding of forest ecology is needed to create effective policies without taking drastic measures to reduce forest fires.

36% of India’s forests are prone to recurrent forest fires, and about 4% are highly vulnerable to such fires. India needs comprehensive forest protection strategies. Despite obstacles in such efforts, India is working to improve its forest fire resistance. Learn more about forest resilience and fire prevention efforts by developing fire prevention techniques and analyzing forest-affected areas using satellite forest imaging technology.

This article first appeared in Mongabai.

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