Clean Tech

On forest fires

| Updated on April 18, 2021

Studies have established a link between climate change and longer, stronger, and quicker-to-ignite wildfires. About 100 cloud-to-ground lightning bolts touch the Earth every single second, and about 24,600 fires are started by lightning each year.

Approximately 4 in 5 forest fires are started by humans. In India 95 per cent of forest fires is due to human activity. People set fire to forests for several reasons, including clearing areas for shifting cultivation, non-timber forest produce collection, and hunting/poaching.

It takes an average 2 to 4 years after a wildfire before reforestation efforts can begin. Saplings do not survive until the soil begins to naturally replenish and can support new life. Reforestation also requires massive fund mobilisation.

A ‘crown fire’ is one that burns quickly across the tops of trees. Fires move faster when travelling uphill. A fire tornado can form when winds around a fire begin to spin, while a large enough fire can produce its own weather system.

It is important to prevent human-induced fires. If you visit a forest, always extinguish your campfire, and respect fire bans during the drier months.

Published on April 18, 2021

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