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Wildfire is a general term which includes forest fires, grassland fires, bushfires, brush fires, and any other vegetation fire in countryside areas. Wildfires occur on every continent except Antarctica. They can occur naturally, but many are caused by humans, accidentally or deliberately.
See the fact file below for more information on the wildfire or alternatively, you can download our 23-page Wildfire worksheet pack to utilise within the classroom or home environment.
Key Facts & Information
- Wildfires are some of the worst types of natural disasters to hit any part of the world.
- However, wildfires can be uncontrollable and controlled, and usually start up in areas which are in the wilderness.
- Depending on the type of vegetation present, a wildfire can be classified specifically as: brush fire, bushfire, desert fire, forest fire, grass fire, hill fire, peat fire, vegetation fire, or veld fire.
- Evidence of wildfire occurred over 450 million years ago, when vegetation began to grow on earth.
- Every fire is deadly but a wildfire is extremely dangerous. Its size is very difficult to control, even with dozens of firefighters working on the fires.
- The speed of a fire can be quite fast, and it even has the ability to jump gaps. These gaps, such as rivers and roads, do not pose a challenge for the fire, which can jump across.
CAUSES AND SPREAD
- Although four out of five wildfires are started by people, nature can also cause this disaster.
- Dry climate, lightning, and volcanic eruption are the three most common natural causes of wildfire.
- There are three conditions that need to be present in order for a wildfire to burn, which firefighters refer to as the fire triangle: fuel, oxygen, and a heat source.
- Dry weather and drought convert green vegetation into bone-dry, flammable fuel; strong winds spread fire quickly over land; and warm temperatures encourage combustion.
- The most common direct human causes of wildfire ignition include arson, discarded cigarettes, power-lines arcs, and sparks from equipment.
- Some wildfires occur in forest areas and some on dry land. It is easy to start a fire in these areas because there are many fuel sources to consume.
- In China and in the Mediterranean Basin, human carelessness is a major cause of wildfires.
- In the United States and Australia, the source of wildfires can be traced both to lightning strikes and to human activities.
- In Africa, Central America, New Zealand, South America, and SE Asia, wildfires are caused by agriculture, animal husbandry, and land-conversion burning.
- Montana, Idaho, Wyoming, Washington, Colorado, Oregon, and California experience some of the worst forest fires in the U.S. In California wildfires are often made worse by the hot, dry Santa Ana winds, which can carry a spark for miles.
- On average, more than 100,000 wildfires, also called wildland fires or forest fires, clear 4 million to 5 million acres (1.6 million to 2 million hectares) of land in the U.S. every year.
- In recent years, wildfires have burned up to 9 million acres (3.6 million hectares) of land.
- A wildfire moves at speeds of up to 14 miles an hour (23 kilometers an hour), consuming everything in its path. This includes trees, flowers, bushes, animals, and houses. Some wildfires can destroy an entire town and kill some of its residents.
- Many people now live in areas where wildfires frequently occur. Wildfires are becoming more intense because they are being extinguished before they are allowed to burn all the underbrush that acts as fuel.
DETECTION AND RESPONSE
- Fast and effective detection is a key factor in wildfire fighting. Fire lookout towers and modern detection devices were developed over time to detect fires.
- High risk areas that feature thick vegetation, a strong human presence, or is close to a critical urban area are monitored using a local sensor network.
- Satellite and aerial monitoring through the use of planes, helicopters, or UAVs can provide a wider view and may be sufficient to monitor very large, low risk areas.
- Firefighters fight wildfires by depriving them of one or more of the fire triangle fundamentals.
- Traditional methods include water dowsing and spraying fire retardants to extinguish existing fires.
- Clearing vegetation to create firebreaks starves a fire of fuel and can help slow or contain it.
- Firefighters also fight wildfires by starting fires in a process called controlled burning.
- These prescribed fires remove undergrowth, brush, and ground litter from a forest, depriving a wildfire of fuel.
- In some nations, they throw sand or beat the fire with sticks or palm fronds.
- In more advanced nations, silver iodide was used, while fire retardants and water can be dropped onto fires by unmanned aerial vehicles, planes, and helicopters.
This is a fantastic bundle which includes everything you need to know about Wildfire across 23 in-depth pages. These are ready-to-use Wildfire worksheets that are perfect for teaching students about the wildfire which is a general term which includes forest fires, grassland fires, bushfires, brush fires, and any other vegetation fire in countryside areas. Wildfires occur on every continent except Antarctica. They can occur naturally, but many are caused by humans, accidentally or deliberately.
Complete List Of Included Worksheets
- A Fire
- Fire Triggers
- The Embers
- The Heroes
- Breaking Myths
- Facing the Inferno
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Link will appear as Wildfire Facts & Worksheets: https://kidskonnect.com - KidsKonnect, July 9, 2019
Use With Any Curriculum
These worksheets have been specifically designed for use with any international curriculum. You can use these worksheets as-is, or edit them using Google Slides to make them more specific to your own student ability levels and curriculum standards.