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How are wildfires put out naturally?

Gmork
Posts: 82
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7/8/2015 9:53:46 AM
Posted: 1 year ago
I have been told that a major part of wildfires is underbrush that is not cleared out, which serves as kindling for an errant match or lightning strike. So, assuming that a wildfire is caused naturally by a lightning strike, and spreads as they do, how is it put out naturally? Would the fire burn the entire forest down? Are there be natural processes that are interrupted by man that would otherwise prevent a wildfire from occurring?
Sosoconfused
Posts: 237
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7/8/2015 3:36:44 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 7/8/2015 9:53:46 AM, Gmork wrote:
I have been told that a major part of wildfires is underbrush that is not cleared out, which serves as kindling for an errant match or lightning strike. So, assuming that a wildfire is caused naturally by a lightning strike, and spreads as they do, how is it put out naturally? Would the fire burn the entire forest down? Are there be natural processes that are interrupted by man that would otherwise prevent a wildfire from occurring?

Yes, forest fires are mostly underbrush fires. Fires would usually occur in dense areas and die in thinner areas (these act like natural fire lines). The reason we're seeing forest fires which are much more destructive now is multi causal, as most things are. First, is climate change. Dryer weather increases risk and reduces the effectiveness of natural fire lines. Next is the encroachment of humans into the forests. This causes us to interact more often with forest fires. Next, are changes in forestry practices. We actually put out too many fires. We are thus creating very dense clusters of underbrush and eliminating natural fire lines.
DanneJeRusse
Posts: 12,652
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7/8/2015 4:13:26 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 7/8/2015 9:53:46 AM, Gmork wrote:
I have been told that a major part of wildfires is underbrush that is not cleared out, which serves as kindling for an errant match or lightning strike. So, assuming that a wildfire is caused naturally by a lightning strike, and spreads as they do, how is it put out naturally?

Often, it's a change in the direction of the wind. If it blows towards the brush, then it will simply keep going until it runs out of fuel, if it gets blown back towards the burned area, it will start to die.

In denser forest areas, there are eons of fallen branches, leaves and trees that have compacted down on the forest floor. When this ignite, the fire can move through it without surfacing and come up in other areas. These types of fires are most difficult to put out and can stay "hot" for up to 18 months, suddenly emerging and starting another fire.

Would the fire burn the entire forest down?

It most certainly could, no problem.

Are there be natural processes that are interrupted by man that would otherwise prevent a wildfire from occurring?

Logging.
Marrying a 6 year old and waiting until she reaches puberty and maturity before having consensual sex is better than walking up to
a stranger in a bar and proceeding to have relations with no valid proof of the intent of the person. Muhammad wins. ~ Fatihah
If they don't want to be killed then they have to subdue to the Islamic laws. - Uncung
Without God, you are lower than sh!t. ~ SpiritandTruth
dee-em
Posts: 6,490
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7/9/2015 10:05:03 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 7/8/2015 4:13:26 PM, DanneJeRusse wrote:
At 7/8/2015 9:53:46 AM, Gmork wrote:
I have been told that a major part of wildfires is underbrush that is not cleared out, which serves as kindling for an errant match or lightning strike. So, assuming that a wildfire is caused naturally by a lightning strike, and spreads as they do, how is it put out naturally?

Often, it's a change in the direction of the wind. If it blows towards the brush, then it will simply keep going until it runs out of fuel, if it gets blown back towards the burned area, it will start to die.

In denser forest areas, there are eons of fallen branches, leaves and trees that have compacted down on the forest floor. When this ignite, the fire can move through it without surfacing and come up in other areas. These types of fires are most difficult to put out and can stay "hot" for up to 18 months, suddenly emerging and starting another fire.

I would add to this a change in the weather. A rainstorm can put out a fire, although this would be a rarer occurrence than a wind change.

Would the fire burn the entire forest down?

It most certainly could, no problem.

Are there be natural processes that are interrupted by man that would otherwise prevent a wildfire from occurring?

Logging.

Well, here in Australia the indigenous people managed the bush by regular burning off. This controlled burning had been interrupted after colonization allowing the underbrush to build up to the point where fires are now much more severe. In recent times, fire prevention measures have started to include regular burning off of undergrowth fuel in the cooler months (around cities and towns) to alleviate this problem.
Skyangel
Posts: 8,234
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7/10/2015 3:41:34 AM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 7/8/2015 9:53:46 AM, Gmork wrote:
I have been told that a major part of wildfires is underbrush that is not cleared out, which serves as kindling for an errant match or lightning strike. So, assuming that a wildfire is caused naturally by a lightning strike, and spreads as they do, how is it put out naturally? Would the fire burn the entire forest down? Are there be natural processes that are interrupted by man that would otherwise prevent a wildfire from occurring?

Wind and rain are natures way of putting out fire.
Electric-Eccentric
Posts: 1,309
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7/10/2015 9:20:51 AM
Posted: 1 year ago
the Hotfoot Indians of Walla Walla created the rain dance when they would hop and jump about as the little hot coals of the fire made them dance about.

Their God felt so sad for them that He cried and put out the fire.

then the Indians rode talking donkeys across the water to spread the good news creating a job for themselves so that they could earn money for their God as their God was always having money problems and needed His worshipers to give till it hurt and they would be re payed in the happy hunting ground when they danced their last dance.
Life is what YOU make it,
Most just try and fake it...
Otokage
Posts: 2,360
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7/10/2015 10:42:00 AM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 7/8/2015 9:53:46 AM, Gmork wrote:
I have been told that a major part of wildfires is underbrush that is not cleared out, which serves as kindling for an errant match or lightning strike. So, assuming that a wildfire is caused naturally by a lightning strike, and spreads as they do, how is it put out naturally? Would the fire burn the entire forest down? Are there be natural processes that are interrupted by man that would otherwise prevent a wildfire from occurring?

Natural fires are often meant to be ultra-destructive, since they are often an strategy of pyrogenic plants, like herbaceous, to whipe out competitors. As for why they stop, there are a lot of causes, it could be rain, forest firewalls, water currents, favorable winds, etc.
DanneJeRusse
Posts: 12,652
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7/10/2015 3:54:45 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 7/9/2015 10:05:03 PM, dee-em wrote:
At 7/8/2015 4:13:26 PM, DanneJeRusse wrote:
At 7/8/2015 9:53:46 AM, Gmork wrote:
I have been told that a major part of wildfires is underbrush that is not cleared out, which serves as kindling for an errant match or lightning strike. So, assuming that a wildfire is caused naturally by a lightning strike, and spreads as they do, how is it put out naturally?

Often, it's a change in the direction of the wind. If it blows towards the brush, then it will simply keep going until it runs out of fuel, if it gets blown back towards the burned area, it will start to die.

In denser forest areas, there are eons of fallen branches, leaves and trees that have compacted down on the forest floor. When this ignite, the fire can move through it without surfacing and come up in other areas. These types of fires are most difficult to put out and can stay "hot" for up to 18 months, suddenly emerging and starting another fire.

I would add to this a change in the weather. A rainstorm can put out a fire, although this would be a rarer occurrence than a wind change.

There usually isn't enough water in a rainstorm to put out a raging forest fire and in fact, what often happens is that there are more fires due to lightning strikes.

I fought fires in my youth and was a deadly tree snag faller. We would have to repel out of helicopter in front of the oncoming fire. First thing we do is cut down a swath of trees to allow the helicopter to come in and land and then take off, we used the fallen trees to make a landing pad for the helicopter so it could bring in more crews and supplies. We then started falling trees into the oncoming fire creating a fire stop so as not to allow the fire to jump from treetop to treetop. We then moved on to other spots to do the same thing. At times we had to used dynamite to fall the big cedar trees as they were well over 6 feet at the butt and our chain saws couldn't get through them. That was really cool to watch.

Would the fire burn the entire forest down?

It most certainly could, no problem.

Are there be natural processes that are interrupted by man that would otherwise prevent a wildfire from occurring?

Logging.

Well, here in Australia the indigenous people managed the bush by regular burning off. This controlled burning had been interrupted after colonization allowing the underbrush to build up to the point where fires are now much more severe. In recent times, fire prevention measures have started to include regular burning off of undergrowth fuel in the cooler months (around cities and towns) to alleviate this problem.
Marrying a 6 year old and waiting until she reaches puberty and maturity before having consensual sex is better than walking up to
a stranger in a bar and proceeding to have relations with no valid proof of the intent of the person. Muhammad wins. ~ Fatihah
If they don't want to be killed then they have to subdue to the Islamic laws. - Uncung
Without God, you are lower than sh!t. ~ SpiritandTruth
Sharku
Posts: 96
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7/11/2015 12:04:13 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
Typically wildfires are good for the forests if they're left alone. They clear the floor for new plants to grow and get sunlight, and they clear out dead or dying trees. The problem is that as others have mentioned, we're building homes in those areas. So we prevent fires, allowing that dry tinder and underbrush build up, so when a fire does break out, there's so much fuel it damages far more than it would have if the forest had been left alone for a hundred years.

Another problem is that we don't allow people to chop down trees in forests that we are preventing nature from dealing with. That would greatly reduce density, allow more plant diversity, and prevent severe fire problems. But the environmentalist nuts you see on the streets asking you to sign clip boards make it seem like you're destroying your only source of oxygen and getting one tree closer to planet destruction. Logger forests are actually very healthy.

Just my 2 cents.
ironslippers
Posts: 513
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7/11/2015 5:55:07 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 7/8/2015 9:53:46 AM, Gmork wrote:
I have been told that a major part of wildfires is underbrush that is not cleared out, which serves as kindling for an errant match or lightning strike. So, assuming that a wildfire is caused naturally by a lightning strike, and spreads as they do, how is it put out naturally? Would the fire burn the entire forest down? Are there be natural processes that are interrupted by man that would otherwise prevent a wildfire from occurring?

400 yrs ago in the Rocky Mountains there was a fire that burned 1/3 of the forest in colorado also in utah and wyoming what was once blue spruce is now pine the earth is a big boy and can take care of itself
Everyone stands on their own dung hill and speaks out about someone else's - Nathan Krusemark
Its easier to criticize and hate than it is to support and create - I Ron Slippers