Occurring in many parts of the world, wildfires are extensive in size and spread quickly, leaving destruction in their paths. Questions in the Wildfires category include how wildfires start, statistics on wildfires, equipment and techniques used for fighting them, how to stay safe in the event of a wildfire, and more.
Asked by Kitty Schaden in Australia Natural Disasters, Wildfires, Australia
How did the Australia fires start?
According to Diana Bernstein, climate scientist and Assistant Research Professor in the Division of Marine Science at the University of Southern Mississippi: “Apart from human activities, Australia’s hot and dry summers are to blame for the start and the spread of the wildfires." Although the region knows to expect a fire season, these most recent fires have been worse than most. This is because Australia is currently experiencing its worst drought in decades as well as a heatwave that broke the record for the highest nationwide average temperature in December. These elements combined have caused the fires to spread more rapidly than usual. Many experts also reference climate change as a contributing factor, as the increasingly extreme weather conditions are taking their toll on an already at-risk area. There is also the human element—there have already been 24 people charged with deliberately starting bushfires this season.
What impact does a wildfire have on humans or the environment?
Wildlife and humans share a very deep chemistry. Wildfires in the first place, cause a lot of damage i.e. they destroy the soil present there and make land infertile. A great deal of natural habitat is lost, ecosystems are lost. Things necessary for man, for its daily purposes are lost such as wood, timber etc. It indirectly also causes economic turmoil for the people dependent on those products for their livelihood.
Asked in Wildfires
Does wild fire catastrophe have weather or geologic or humans cause?
Wildfires can be the result weather, human action, or geologic activity. Many fires nowadays are caused by humans being careless with campfires or cigarettes. Some even result from deliberate acts of arson. However, there are also plenty of fires sparked by lighting. This is how most natural fires get started. On rare occasions there is a geologic cause: lava flows from volcanoes can start fires. Note however, that no matter the cause, weather plays a major role in how a fire behaves.
Asked in Ecosystems, Wildfires
How do wildfires affect the ecosystem?
How Wildfires Affect Ecosystems Fire is a natural occurrence that is both destructive and reconstructive. -See the related site below to see how it is beneficial to many plants. Although they can be expensive or deadly for humans, occasional wildfires increase habitat diversity and improve forage for most animals. Occasional fires also prevent larger, destructive wildfires from occurring; a lesser fuel load and green, wet growth discourage fire. Certain animals live specifically in freshly-burned areas, and burn zones are critical habitat for animals including hawks, owls, black-backed woodpeckers, and bluebirds, as well as all the grazing mammals that return as vegetation returns. Some vegetation begins emerging within a couple days of a fire, plants, and trees that have higher sunlight requirements benefit tremendously in the abundant sunlight. A: All the unburned minerals in the ashes left over from the fire promotes new growth.
Asked in Home Electricity, Wildfires, Firefighters
What type of electrical heating is most cost effective for the home?
All electrical heating is 100% efficient. Every nickel you spend is converted into usable heat unlike other sources, they just go up the chimmney. The type you choose depends on you and where you are. You can go baseboard, there is a calculation a qualified electrician will make for you so you get the right wattage per room. This relies on the convection current principle to circulate the warm air. You can get an electric arc furnace which uses forced air like the oil and gas one. They are very quiet, of course efficient and have the "feeling" of warmth because of the felt air. This of course is your option if you need central a/c as well. You can go with radiant heat panels in your ceiling that fit between the strapping on your rafters. So you have a clean sheet rock ceiling. Radiant panels don't heat the air, they heat objects in that room. You can also go with radiant heat inlaid in your flooring or subflooring heating the concrete, tiles, hardwood or whatever. So depending on where you live, you have to pick what's right for your locale. It's clean, it's cheaper than fuels, require zero maintenance, and you don't waste any of your money. Gotta like that. Andy Answer I think Andy must work for the power company. Electricity is most definitely not cheaper than gas, although with the way gas prices have been going, it might become that way. Electric resistance heat does indeed convert 100% of the incoming energy to heat. But per amount of incoming energy, you pay a lot more for electricity than you do for gas. You can get new gas furnaces that are 96% efficient. One can argue that 4% inneficiency is infinitely greater than 0% inneficiency, but unless the energy prices go totally topsy turvy, it still remains cheaper to heat with gas. One thing that is overlooked in the above arguments is that with both electric resistance heat and gas heat, the incoming energy must supply all of the heat. On the other hand, with a heat pump, the heat comes from the outside air, and the electricity is used only to move it inside. It works as an air conditioner in reverse. In this way, you can actually get more heat energy out than the energy coming into the house. The disadvantage is that heat pumps don't work if it gets too cold outside. The older ones would only work down to 0 degrees C, but I think some newer ones may work down to 0 degrees F. The answer to the question really depends on what the climate is where you live. There's a book by Tretheway that you may find at your public library, to go into detail on the pros and cons of various systems. A properly constructed well insulated house is the key to lower costs, no matter what you choose. Answer Going one step further, a geothermal heat pump should be most cost effective in the long run. These work just as in the second answer above, but the heat comes from ground water, which is a fairly constant temperature of about 55 degrees. This allows a much more efficient heat pump without the air temperature limits above. liquid is a great medium for heat transfer, so the heat exchanger is inside with a pump, not a big noisy fan.
Asked in Earth Sciences, Wildfires
How do bushfires start?
Bushfires are often started by any of the following: lightning strikes campfires not being put out properly sparks from a car's exhaust if surrounding vegetation is extremely dry arson damaged power lines Conditions that cause the bushfire to increase in intensity are excessive heat and prolonged heatwave or drought, which has caused the vegetation to become tinder-dry, as well as strong, hot winds.
Asked in Wildfires
How many people died from the California wildfires of 2007?
Asked in Thunderstorms and Lightning, Wildfires
What are the main features of wildfires?
Wildfires may be started by lightning or by careless humans. They can become disasters when they rapidly move into developed areas, and firestorms can spread embers for several miles, overcoming firefighting efforts. Wildfires naturally consume grass and brush, but can also involve trees, which may affect the wildlife within the area for several years. Some conifer seeds only sprout after a severe wildfire has melted their seed coats, increasing the chance that the seedlings will receive sunlight.
Asked in Telecommunications, Wildfires
What are the Advantages of telecommunication devices in a disaster situation eg bushfire?
For remote locations, the best bet for my money will always be a generator or solar battery powered short wave radio.Someone, somewhere, will always pick up your signal. I find shortwave enthusiasts unfailingly happy to help and reliable. Most will not only relay your message, but follow up as well.It's well worth the investment in the equipment and learning to be an operator, whether you are in a bush station or an Arctic expedition.
Asked in Wildfires
What types of trees recover best after a wildfire?
How do bushfires affect the environment?
Bushfires can have positive and negative effects on the environment. Some plants require fire to spread their seeds. This is the case with the banksia in Australia. Some species like this actually require the heat and the smoke to release their seeds. Without bushfires, these plants could not reproduce. Similarly, fire can generate new growth in existent plants. Eucalypts, for example, often sprout new growth after a fire. However, for every positive effect, there's a negative effect as well. Bushfires release huge amounts of smoke and ash which, apart from creating pollution (provoking asthma and causing other health problems), also cause weather changes in the immediate area. Heat pushes up the air, creating cumulus clouds which, if met by air of a different temperature, can result in storms.
State one prudential reason and one moral reason for power sharing from the Indian Context?
Asked in Wildfires
How do you detect and warn for a wildfire?
A wildfire is not like a earthquake or any other type of natural disaster. There is no way to detect when or where a wildfire is going to happen. The way that you get warned by a wildfire is by listening to the radio, tv, scanner or any other means. Also law enforcement officers will go street by street on the loud horn declaring a mandatory evacuation area.
Asked in Geography, Wildfires
How do you prevent a Bushfire?
Most fire fighting authorities produce some sort of literature that focus on fire prevention, at home, at work, on the farm, in the bush. A lot of it is focussed at children. People living in bush fire prone areas are specifically targetted and are encouraged to keep vegetation like grass away from their homes, avoid trees overhanging the house or being anywhere near the house, keep the gutters clear of dead leaves, be prepared during the summer months, and to have an evacuation plan. Farmers would be encouraged to do all of the same things and plough fire breaks. There are several government departments responsible for land management and performing fuel reduction burning off. As part of the fallout from the Ash Wednesday bushfires and the ensuing Royal Commission and Inquiry, a great many laws were changed and others introduced to force municipal councils and home owners to take more responsibility for their own protection in the event of bushfires. The Country Fire Authority of Victoria is a great advocate of fire prevention and a visit to their site could be helpful (refer to the link below). A: The most important things you can do are to take care with any kind of fire you use. If you're camping or grilling in an area with a high risk for fire, keep your fire small, do not leave it unattended, and extinguish it completely when you are done with it. Many roadside fires are started by careless smokers flicking lit cigarettes out their windows; either don't smoke or use the ash tray inside your car (good policies even if you aren't just trying to prevent bushfires).
Asked in Wildfires
What do you do when a bushfire occurs?
Bushfires are commonplace in Australia, in both rural areas and suburban fringes, and it is wise to be aware of your choices in the event of an impending bushfire. The first decision that needs to be made in case of a bushfire is whether you will stay and actively defend your property, or evacuate. The advantage of staying is that you are present at your property to put out small spot fires after the main fire has passed. The disadvantages, of course, involve the risks to personal safety. It is unlikely that you will be able to outrun a bushfire, so if you stay, you must have a plan to escape being burnt. If you choose to evacuate, pack the minimal essentials , including vital papers, ensure your pets are catered for, and carefully plan your route to avoid fire areas. If a bushfire is approaching (and indeed, prior to bushfire season starting) you should ensure gutters and eaves are clear of leaves and debris, and that vegetation is not growing close to your house. Remove these potential fuel sources, and try to create a fire break around your house. Many people choose to douse their gutters and walls with water, which can help, depending on the severity of the bushfire. Prepare an emergency kit, which includes such things as non-perishable food, medical supplies and/or first aid kit, drink bottles, buckets, water containers, portable radio with spare batteries, torch and first aid kit. It's also a good idea to have a fire fighting kit containing items such as long sleeved shirt and trousers, leather gloves, broad brimmed hat, goggles/safety glasses and sturdy footwear such as boots. If you are in a position where you are not near any shelter, you have few choices. People have been known to survive bushfires by remaining immersed in a creek or river until the fire passes, but the surface temperature of th water becomes frighteningly hot. If you cannot out run it or you are surrounded by the fire, you can set a fire where you are and try to direct this small fire away from you. By the time the larger inferno reaches you, there will be no fuel left to burn around you and you might survive. However, bushfires on the scale seen in places like Australia will still have the strength and force to sweep over large tracts of fuel-less ground, still destroying anything in their path.
Asked in Earth Sciences, Wildfires
What is the difference between a wildfire and a forest fire?
Asked in Wildfires
How often do wildfires in southern California occur?
Wildfires in Southern California happen as often as conditions permit, really. There are usually brushfires every year, but 90 percent of the time they only burn a few hundred or couple thousand acres per fire, and most do not threaten homes. It is the big fires, fueled by fierce winds that tend to threaten homes. Remember that most wildfires start with a heat source such as the sun or someone committing arson, and are then fueled by low humidity and high wind. For an in-depth article on how wildfires work, visit: http://science.howstuffworks.com/wildfire.htm