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:Manmade Hazards and Disasters : Wildfires - Essay Example

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Manmade Hazards and Disasters – Wildfires Name: Institution: Causes of wildfires Wildfires or forest fires are natural environmental hazards that are caused by both natural and human activities. While wildfires may be considered as a cause of air pollution, these fires also provide a natural means of elimination of dead vegetation…
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Download file to see previous pages Furthermore, some wildfires are setup knowingly while others, mostly in rare cases are due to sheer bad luck. For example, a speeding train’s wheel on the rail track could spark, and that is all it takes to start the fire. With such an occurrence, the spark will ignite a flame, and with the help of moving winds in the forests, that ignition will start the flame, which in turn will result in a fire, of which would have been catalyzed by the moving winds. Once wildfires are in motion, they are unstoppable. They are many factors that contribute to spread and intensity of wildfires. They are three main contributing factors that spread and intensify wildfires, namely, Fuel, weather, and topography. Wildfires that are started by fuel are usually results from leaves, needles, branches, logs, and grass while fires started by weather conditions include things like temperature, precipitation, humidity, and wind. Finally, topology or landscape area, this is whereby steep slopes tend to be the greatest cause of fire intensity (Michigan State University, 2012). Physical nature of wildfires The physical effects of wildfires are equally dangerous, and these effects can be classified as primary and secondary categories or social, economic, and environmental classifications. The social effects are those whereby humanity is affected. Economic effects are those that affect businesses and money while environmental effects are those that affect natural and constructed materials. A closer look into some of the primary effects of wildfires would include lost lives, injured persons and dead animals, all of which were results of raging flames (Parker, 2012). Another destructive force is loss of property and personal possession, burning of crops and vegetation and massive amounts of smoke released. The secondary effects of wildfires tend to cause health related issues among people, of which is resultant of smoke and ash in the air. Farmers and agricultural workers to get affected, in that their animals and crops are destroyed which in turn creates loss of jobs and incomes. This loss of jobs extends to the tourism sector as well which leads to tourist declinations. Recreational access area is restricted, as well. The land also gets affected in that soil erosion and landslides start to increase due to loss in vegetation, of which the vegetation is the binding force that keeps soil intact. Another area of loss is habitats of animals, which leads to extinction. The Waldo Canyon (2012) and the Black Forest (2013) fires in Colorado a. Pre-event conditions In comparison to the two fires that broke out in both Waldo Canyon (2012) and Black Forest (2013) counties, the Black Forest wildfire was the most destructive in Colorado’s history. The Pre-event conditions of the Waldo Canyon fires of 2012 that mourning, were clear blue skies with hot and dry humid temperatures with erratic winds, which kept changing direction and getting stronger as the day progressed. While the Black forest fires of 2013, pre-event weather conditions, were dry weather and warm temperatures and high winds, the kind of weather that is favorable for most wildfires. b. Duration of the fire until it was under control The duration for the fires to be contained in the county of Waldo Canyon took 18 days to have under control. The reason for this is was the type of properties and neighborhoods that was ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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