A wildfire, also known as a wildland fire, forest fire, vegetation fire, grass fire, peat fire, bushfire or hill fire, is an uncontrolled fire often occurring in wildland areas, but which can also consume houses or agricultural resources. An average of 5 million acres burns every year in the United States, causing millions of dollars in damage.
Wildfires are taking a terrible toll across the USA. Can you imagine the heartbreak of the people living in San Diego, Malibu and other places in California? I could not believe the destruction that I saw in the Oakland, California Firestorm of 1991, a large urban fire that occurred in the hillsides of northern Oakland, California and southeastern Berkeley.
Wildfires are a growing natural hazard in most regions of the United States, posing a threat to life and property, particularly where native ecosystems meet developed areas. In just seconds, a spark or even the sun's heat alone sets off an inferno.
The wildfire quickly spreads, consuming the thick, dried-out vegetation and almost everything else in its path. What was once a forest becomes a virtual powder keg of untapped fuel. In a seemingly instantaneous burst, the wildfire overtakes thousands of acres of surrounding land, threatening the homes and lives of many in the vicinity.
In addition, the secondary effects of wildfires, including erosion, landslides, introduction of invasive species, and changes in water quality, are often more disastrous than the fire itself. The threat of wildland fires for people living near wildland areas or using recreational facilities in wilderness areas is real.
Dry conditions at various times of the year and in various parts of the United States greatly increase the potential for wildland fires. Wildfires fanned by fierce desert The Santa Ana winds in Southern California sweep down wide across the deserts and across the Los Angeles Basin pushing out dust and smoke.
Fires continue burning through Southern California on a regular basis. Recently more than a quarter-million people have been ordered to evacuate from the path of the Southern California wildfires.
Wildfires consumed hundreds of homes across tinder-dry Southern California. Hot, dry wind off the desert is whipping this deadly and destructive series of fires, and authorities said there was little they could do to stop the flames until the winds died down in the San Diego and Malibu areas.
Wildfire is one of the most destructive natural forces known to mankind. While sometimes caused by lightning, nine out of ten wildfires are human-caused. Put simply, "wildfire" is the term applied to any unwanted and unplanned fire burning in forest, shrub or grass. Wildfires are a danger for people who live in forest, prairies or wooded areas. Remember, if there is a wildfire near you and your family is told to evacuate -- go right away! And remember to bring your pets with you!
One area that is relative safe from wildfires is Kingman, Arizona. The surrounding areas have defensible breaks with limited vegetation and there is plenty of fire protection equipment in the Kingman area. So if you are tired of living in fear of a wildfire, come and check out Kingman, Arizona.