The Era of Wildfires


Credit: Pixabay

Alexa Estrada, Opinion Editor

Like all other natural disasters, wildfires bring unfortunate environmental as well as social consequences to our communities. They are rampant and chaotic, devouring everything that they encounter, and they wait for no one. Particularly in California, these wildfires have become very common and destroyed hundreds of unsuspecting neighborhoods.

Wildfire prevention would be easier if people understood three key factors. Fuel, air, and heat sources are the main contributors to the creation and growth of wildfires. Any material that surrounding a fire becomes fuel or flammable material. This includes trees, grass, and even people’s homes. The greater amount of fuel an area contains, the more severe the fire is likely to be.

The most common state to have wildfires is California.  The air supplies the oxygen a fire requires to burn and expand. California wildfires are often made larger and worse by the hot, dry winds found in the state, which can carry a fire’s spark for miles. Sources of heat help spark the wildfire and carry fuel to temperatures hot enough to spark and ignite. Storms with lightning, burning campfires, and even the sun can all spark a wildfire with the heat that they produce. That is where our conscious behaviors must be stronger than our unconscious ones. We must take action in the prevention and protection of our communities from wildfires.