Wildland Week 6 # 12 – Essay Example
The three important factors that influence fire spread during a wildland fire incident are Weather conditions strongly influence the spread of wildland fire. The arid conditions in hot summers significantly increase temperature and lower humidity. Fire behavior is also considerably impacted by wind speed and direction which carries burning embers across wider areas, thus rapidly spreading fire.
2. Fuel is one of the most key elements that spread fire. The forest vegetation serves as fuel that is susceptible to ignition and cause fire. While natural causes like weather condition could contribute to fire, the man sponsored threat of fire becomes major contributor for spreading fires. The quantity of fuel/vegetation in ton per acre broadly describes fuel loading capacity which provides continuity to the fire. Low ignition feature of vegetation is hugely dangerous. The inflammable materials used in construction on foothills are major contributors for spreading fire on the GUI, leading to great loss of lives and property (Gess & Lutz, 2002).
3. Topography is yet another factor that facilitates fire to rapidly spread. The different elements of topography like aspect, slope, position etc. impact fire. Aspect determines the direction of slope, thus deciding the amount of sunlight the vegation will receive from sun. Plants more exposed to sun would have higher temperature, lower humidity and higher ignition features. The steep slopes help the heat to advance and dry up fuel/vegetation that helps pave way for fire with continued strength. Canyons, on the other hand, channelize wind through narrow openings, accelerating their speed and also rate of spreading fire.
Gess, Denise and William Lutz. (2002) Firestorm at Peshtigo: A Town, Its People, and the Deadliest Fire in American History. New York: Henry Holt and Company.