What Causes a Wildfire?

A recent wildfire in Colorado occurred, it is a phenomenon that happens all year long in many different places. But not many people know how they start and why they occur in certain places more than other.

A wildfire is like a normal fire, certain conditions need to be present for a flame to start then depending on a multitude of  other variables the size and velocity of the fire are defined.

What Causes A Wildfire?

Simple question but not easy to answer. As you probably know you can start a fire with many things, there are two categories of wildfire: of human source and natural cause. Natural causes are more often seen in North America, lighting, volcano’s, swift weather changes. Human Sources occur a lot too, but in other parts of the world such as Asia, Australia, Central and South America. Small things like cigarette butts, animal husbandry, sparks from equipment.

They occur randomly sometimes when a place has rain for a few years then heat settles in. Then those areas are bound to be ignited sooner than later. As seen in the case of the worst wildfire in North America. The Peshtigo fire, which destroyed million dollars  of property and took thousands of lives. The area was suffering massive drought and higher than average temperatures, that and some human activities combined created the biggest wildfire ever in America. The human activities which caused this are  a many but not one is more to blame than the other.

Wild fires in Portugal have been in prominent this year too.  None of the normal human activities which have been common to cause wildfires happen there. But how come over 14,000 wildfires have already happened in Portugal. It is not only a record but the year has yet to finish, September and October could bring further fires.

We have a few techniques to suppress these catastrophes but no way to really know why and how they happen. We have always find many things which could cause it but it always remain inconclusive.

Learn more about the tragedy that happened in the October of 1871.

More on the Peshtigo fire…

Something that wasn’t much talked about in this article but is worth checking out.

More on Wildfire suppression techniques…