Wildfires Running Wild

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     Wildfires are creating a big problem for communities’ health and safety. This is why we need to take a stand to prevent and protect the forests and people.

     Wildfires are creating a big problem for communities’ health and safety. This is why we need to take a stand to prevent and protect the forests and people.

     I know that some people want to know what conditions cause wildfires. Wildfires can be manmade or natural. Drought, heat, and beetle kill are big factors to both types of wildfires. If lightning were to strike in a dry spot or large patch of beetle kill and ignite, the plants would act like fuel and cause the fire to spread quickly. This is what happened with the High Park Fire. This type of fire would be caused naturally. While the Hewlett Gulch Fire was a manmade fire started by a cooking stove, it spread because of all of the reasons listed. A majority of people were expecting giant fires from beetle kill for many years but the drought and heat just added to the factor. An uncontrollable wildfire is also helped by wind and no rain.

     Officials have the tough job of getting people out of their homes and fighting the fire itself. The police and sheriffs are always updating information on the fire and sending out evacuation messages to people who might be in danger. The firefighters are fighting the fire with water and other materials while there are planes dropping fire retardant. Even with the police evacuating people, some still go missing or don’t make it out in time. It is also hard to keep the fire contained even though there are airplanes and people working on it.

     You can make a difference by helping the people who were evacuated. In a lot of cases your community will set up drives for things like towels, toothbrushes and toothpaste, and other necessities. There will also probably be a place to drop off items for evacuated pets and animals, too.

     Most wildfires occur in the western states. Montana, Idaho, Oregon, Wyoming, Colorado, California, New Mexico, Texas, Arizona, and Washington get some of the worst wildfires every year. These fires mostly occur during the summertime when it is dry and hot.

     If you want to learn more on wildfires or help educate the rest of your family visit the following sites:

  • www.disastercenter.com/guide/wildfire.html
  • www.usfa.fema.gov/citizens/home_fire_prev/wildfire/
  • http://environment.nationalgeographic.com/environment/natural-disasters/wildfires/