The Uptick in Wildfires in the past ten years

The Uptick in Wildfires in the past ten years

In about the past ten years there has been a severe rise in wildfires across the United States. Some of the most recent wildfires include the August Complex in California which burned about 471,185 acres, the Dixie Fire also in California, which burned about 963,309 acres, and currently the most recent wildfire which was in Tennessee. This forces us to ask the question why are wildfires becoming more regular in the United States and what is causing it? Also, what can we do to try to prevent it?

The Wildfire in Tennessee started as a small brush fire on Wednesday, March 30, 2022. Since then the last update from Fox News said on April 1 that this wildfire has spread about 3,700 acres. It has impacted or affected more than 100 different structures and about 11,000 homes have been forced to evacuate. The city of California has provided supplies for people who have been affected. Three shelters in California have opened for people who were forced to evacuate their homes. The American Red Cross has provided food, shelter, clothes, and any needed supplies.

This is just one of many wildfires that have started  small and have expanded very fast. So what is causing all of this? Is it climate change, drought, campfires without supervision, burning of debris, equipment malfunctions? According to the World Economic Forum, one of the biggest causes of wildfires is climate change. The summer wildfire season has gotten to be about 40 to 80 days longer than the average. The second biggest cause is having annual droughts each year makes it easy for a fire to ignite and spread abruptly. Another cause is extreme weather events for example lightning storms and getting strong winds unexpectedly.

There is no way we could ever get rid of wildfires but there are plenty of ways we can help prevent them from happening. One way is to check the weather and drought conditions before wanting to start or light a fire. Temperature can affect the spread of fire. Also having serious drought and dry grasslands is one-way fires spread extremely fast. A second way is to keep your campfires or any fire you start away from open and flammable locations and to make sure when putting out a campfire make sure you douse with cold water until what was burned is cold. 

Another way is to make sure you are maintaining equipment in any environmental situation. When sparks from any type of equipment touches dry land it can start small or big fires out of nowhere. Lastly, one way to prevent forest fires is to check the weather conditions before lighting any type of firework. If it is very dry consider using a safe alternative.

It is very important to remember that all fire can be dangerous or harmful to you, the people around you, and your surroundings