Bushfires are usually large and equally destructive wildfires that spread in no more than a minute over woodland. Hence, they are also called forest fires.
Wildfire might be a new term for people living in urban areas but isn’t something new for people who are from the Northern regions of Pakistan or are from areas that are densely populated with forests, woodlands, or jungles. However, wildfires are not bound to start in forests alone since a recent bushfire incident was witnessed in a section of the University of Karachi, making it evident that these fires can start and spread rapidly in a matter of minutes. It also means that wildfires are not just another natural phenomenon limited to forests.
So, what are the actual causes of bushfires? Well, you’ll find the answer to this question in the next section of this blog.
What are the Major Causes of Bushfires?
As mentioned earlier, climate change is one of the most significant causes of forest fires. So, with climate change affecting the society and all living beings equally and drastically, the chances of something going horribly wrong, especially bushfires, are always high.
Speaking of natural causes of bushfires, lightning is among the most common ones. Thunderbolts can provide the spark that can trigger an inferno. Some grasses, as well as twigs, can get affected by lightning and catch fire very quickly.
Usually ignited by a thunderbolt or lightning, the fire is spread by wind. The oxygen in the wind supports combustion and helps the fire eat up acres after acres within minutes. The phrase “fanning the flame” traces its origins to bushfires.
On the flip side, large tree trunks are more resistant to fire. You will be surprised to know that drier conditions also help ignite and spread a fire, regardless of the high or low temperature.
In addition to natural causes of bushfires, many human-led factors influence its spread. While we only blame natural factors for wildfires, statistics have an entirely different story to tell. Nearly 50% of forest fires are caused by humans, and these are the results of campfires, burning debris, arson, or just plain recklessness. On top of everything, most of these human-led factors of wildfires are intentional as an act of invading the space of other creatures. This space is then used for farming, agriculture, residential, or commercial purposes.
Regardless of whether a human starts a fire or a natural incident sets it off, wildfires are equally threatening to the survival of both humans and animals, not to mention botanical life. In some parts of the world, let’s take bushfires in Australia as an example, they end up destroying properties, livestock, wildlife, and agricultural land.
Let’s dive deeper into the details of the dangers posed by bushfires.