Wildfires happen in outside areas that have large areas of grass or dried leaves or weeds. They often happen during summer or times of the year when it is very hot and dry outside without much rain. A wildfire can start from a match, an adult that throws a cigarette out of a window, or even a lightning bolt. Some wildfires burn out of control and the fire can move quickly from one house to the next. When a wildfire blazes out of control, it may destroy houses, buildings, wildlife, and plants that grow in the area. Sometimes wildfires are called forest fires, grass fires, or bush fires. Wildfires differ from other types of fires due to their size. A wildfire is very large and may continue to spread due to dry climates and lack of water. Another problem with wildfires is that they can change direction. Some wildfires jump over water sources, like rivers. They have even jumped over roads. Wildfires are very powerful and can quickly spread out of control.
Since wildfires may start in multiple ways, people should follow all safety rules, behave carefully, and not act in a way that could start a fire. When fires start, local fire stations immediately begin to work on ways to put out the fire. Adults who smoke should never drop cigarettes on the ground. Though wildfires may start from natural causes, people are the cause of at least four out of five fires. Though wildfires can happen anywhere, any area that has a hot, dry climate can become a host to wildfires. Wildfire prevention is very important and some areas where wildfires happen a lot create their own prevention programs. Other wildfire causes include eruptions from volcanoes and spontaneous combustion. Spontaneous combustion is when an object or item becomes so hot, that it sparks and catches on fire by itself. When someone sets a fire on purpose, it is called arson. Some wildfires are caused by arson.
Families that live in areas where wildfires are common should have an emergency kit, and be ready at all times. Children are never too young to learn about fire safety and kids should make certain they know how to act if there is a fire. Kids can help adults prepare for wildfires by knowing what to do. Families should have a plan that helps keep pets as well as children safe. If leaders in your community say that you should evacuate, then your family should evacuate immediately. Because wildfires spread due to dried up materials on the ground, such as leaves and twigs, some community leaders burn them on purpose in order to prevent wildfires. This is called a prescribed burning and involves professionals burning the material in a controlled way. This helps prevent wildfires because it limits how much debris and dried plant material is on the ground. If there is a prescribed burn, when a wildfire hits, there will be less to burn, making the fire easier to put out.
One of the most dangerous situations related to wildfires is wind. Wind can carry wildfires for miles at a time. In states like California, the Santa Ana winds can carry wildfires at very fast speeds. Wildfires carried by high winds can travel at extremely accelerated rates. These winds can carry wildfires at speeds up to 40 miles per hour. When winds carry wildfires and cause them to spread quickly, the risk to animal and human life is great. Sometimes whole communities, neighborhoods, and towns need to evacuate.
Preventing wildfires is one of the most important steps everyone can take, both for their own safety and the environment. Even kids can help prevent wildfires by following safety rules. Though sometimes wildfires start without humans doing anything to cause the problem, this does not mean that everyone can act irresponsibly. Kids should never play with cigarettes, matches or lighters. Kids can learn plenty of information to help prevent wildfires from Smokey the Bear. Smokey the Bear, named after a bear cub rescued from a wildifre in 1944, is part of the United States Forest Service. He tells kids, ���Only you can prevent wildfires.� Smokey the Bear has helped teach kids forest and fire safety for more than 50 years.
A fire tornado may seem cool to look at, but it is very dangerous. If you have ever seen a tornado you know that it looks like a funnel. A fire tornado looks just like a regular tornado only it is red and yellow and looks like it is made of fire. Fire tornadoes are very dangerous and can cause wildfires to become worse than they originally were. Many people evacuate when they see fire tornadoes.
Wildfires are extremely dangerous and sometimes they burn for days, weeks, and even months. Because it can be hard to put out wildfires, some cities need to ask for help from other fire fighters. Many firefighters become extremely tired while working long hours to put out fires. There are different rules regarding how to handle wildfires. In some situations, wildfires are allowed to continue burning as it is seen there will be more benefits from the burn rather than putting it out. When wildfires start, firefighters may try to extinguish them with water, but they usually use a tool called a pulaski. The pulaski is used to clear all dried debris like leaves and dead plants away from the area. This helps stop wildfires because they will not have any fuel to burn. When wildfires are very big, firefighters may fly overhead and drop chemicals on the fire. Wildfires are dangerous and, at times seem unavoidable, however everyone can do their part to help prevent them.