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What is a wildfire?
A wildfire is an uncontrolled fire often occurring in wildland areas, but which
can also consume houses or agricultural resources. also known as a wildland fire,
forest fire, vegetation fire, grass fire, peat fire, bushfire (in Australia), or hill

What causes a wildfire?
Wildfires can occur due to natural or man-made elements. The four most
common natural elements that can cause a wildfire are lightning, an eruption
from a volcano, sparks from a rockfall, andspontaneous combustion.
most common man-made causes for wildfires include debris burning or other
carelessness and arson. While not as common as arson or intentionally starting a
fire, the improper disposal of a cigarette can cause a fire that could become
The most dominant cause of wildfires differs around the
globe. however, intentional ignition can be identified as the most common man-
made cause for uncontrollable fires.

Where can wildfires occur?

Wildfires can occur anywhere, but . Often wildfires occur in wild, unpopulated
areas, but they can occur anywhere and destroy homes, agriculture, humans, and
animals in their path.They are also susceptible in many places around the world,
including much of the vegetated areas of Australia as well as in the Western
Cape of South Africa. The climates are sufficiently moist to allow the growth of
trees, but feature extended dry, hot periods. Fires are particularly prevalent in
the summer and fall, and during droughts when fallen branches, leaves, and
other material can dry out and become highly flammable. Wildfires are also
common in grasslands and scrublands.

Common sign
The three basic sign for a wildfire are
strong winds,
low relative humidity,
and high temperatures.
In addition, persistently dry vegetation provides an easy fuel source for the
fires. If the conditions are either not currently occurring or about to occur, a
Fire Weather Watch is issued. Red Flag Warnings mean there is an expectation
for explosive fire growth potential.

Kind of damage
Wildfires destroy wild habitat for animals, and fires kill many animals that
cannot escape. These fires also strip vegetation from land and expose it to
rapid erosion. When wildfires overrun houses or other structures that are build
in or abutting wild land, these structures can easily be destroyed. The air that
carries off the smoke and other combustion byproducts is a hazard to any
creature breathing it. Certainly the fires pose a hazard to anyone caught in
them or responders attempting to contain them.
On the economy
Economic costs range from direct costs associated with fire fighting, to loss of
income from the land following wildfire incidents and damage to property.
Landscape-scale damage and loss of specific infrastructure can also impinge on
tourism, with a consequence to local businesses and communities. Restoring
damaged habitats is also becoming an important component of post-wildfire
recovery in sensitive environments, which is typically a very costly and time-
consuming process.
On the environment
Apart from the obvious effects of wildfires on upland biodiversity and habitats,
they also have a direct impact on benefits that people receive from the
environment, including:
Provision of food, water and fibre
Regulation of floods, drought, land degradation and disease
Soil formation and nutrient cycling
Cultural services and recreational benefits
Carbon sequestration and storage
Wildfires directly impact on upland ecosystem services through damage caused
to the vegetation, peat and soils, which results in loss of valuable habitat and
associated wildlife alongside carbon release. Exposed soil and peat is at
increased risk to wind and water erosion, with water run-off from uplands
potentially resulting in downstream flooding, sedimentation of water courses
and discolouration of drinking water.

On local heritage
Wildfire can cause serious damage to historic environment features.
Archaeological remains are often protected by soil and vegetation cover and so
the loss of this cover can have severe implications for features. The damage can
occur both during a wildfire and due to the erosion caused when sites are
On local communities
Wildfires create safety issues for those who live and work in isolated areas, as
well as endangering people who use and enjoy the countryside. They are also a
very real threat to the health and safety of the emergency services.
Most fire-fighters in rural areas are 'retained'. This means that they are part-
time and can be called away from their normal work to attend to fires. This can
disrupt local businesses.
Wildfire also has the potential to affect the lives of people well outside the
immediate area of any incident. Smoke can travel many miles on prevailing winds,
affecting air quality and visibility in areas far away. This can have public health
implications, especially for people with respiratory problems, as well as causing
disruption to traffic.

Health problem