Greek wildfire: All you want to know about wildfire and forest fire

The wildfire or forest fire is an unplanned fire that burnt in a natural area causing an alarming situation worldwide especially in the past 10 years. Wildfires affect all biomes, from forests and savannahs to grasslands. Wildfires are very common, especially during hot and dry summers. Lately, wildfire cases across the world are increasing in an unprecedented proportion. A massive wildfire engulfed the northern tip of Greece’s second-largest island called Evia, close to the mainland.

The fire began on august 3rd and more than 50,900 hectares have been burned in less than 2 weeks. The disaster coming closer to civilization and also affecting many Mediterranean countries making the situation worsen which forcing a mass evacuation. The Amazon forest fire, Bandipur forest fire [2019], and Australian wildfire [2020] were marked as some of the worst wildfires our world has ever witnessed.

Light wildfires are actually helpful for forests to control the growth of alien species, control vegetation from overpopulation, and also helps to get sunlight to the forest. Forest fires occur in some forests annually which never affect the forest or the wildlife much but the real problem is when the fire gets out of control which leads to catastrophe.

Natural Causes of Wildfire

Wildfires are lately more often due to several reasons. Climatic change and global warming are dominant factors, especially in the western united states. An increase in temperature due to global warming is likely to extend fire season to long, dry summers which made significant changes in the distribution and abundance of plant species. This leads to the decline of some plant species which are sensitive to fire.

The climatic change also results in harsher droughts that leave the trees and forests dry. Even a light breeze hence can cause a massive fire. Lightning is another natural cause of wildfire. Even though not all lightning is strong enough to make a fire. Nevertheless, weak thunders are also causing massive fire because of the extremely dried forest.

Human and Forest Fire

Humans’ wildfires can be intentional, accidental, or by negligence. Intentional wildfires are happening in forests which is close to human habitats. Lately, two shepherds arrested regarding the same in India. After a detailed investigation, both confessed that wild animals often attack their livestock causing them a huge loss which compelled them to cause the fire.

 Other human activities like careless campers, accidents, negligently discarded cigarettes, accidents from electric powerlines, poor forest management, or the negligence of juveniles while playing cause wildfire more often.

The COVID-19 pandemic is also a reason for recent wildfire outbreaks in different parts of the country. The fire management established in many forests is out of manpower due to lockdowns. So an unreported yet weak ignition leads to a huge disaster.

CONSEQUENCES OF WILDFIRES IN WILDLIFE
– Scarcity of food for herbivores
– Habitat loss and loss of biodiversity
– Severe injuries for animals
– Increased spread of alien species
– Air pollution also cause health impacts to animals as well as humans
– Extinction of species (both animal and plants) that are more suspectable for fire, e.g.: anteater
– Shortage inmates for large mammal fauna
– Enhance global warming hence climate change
– Increased Deaths of juvenile and pregnant species

How can we control wildfire?

  1. Factors of wildfire which we can control are climate change and human-caused wildfires.
  2. Executing preventive controlled burns must be performed on a regular basis, regardless of circumstances.
  3. By controlling and monitoring agricultural land burns near the woods.
  4. We must encourage mixed forest and try to avoid pine which is highly flammable and leaves will dry out easily as much as possible.
  5. Effective forest management.

 

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