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Fires Rising by Michael Laimo - Goodreads



Fires Rising

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The spread of wildfires varies based on the flammable material present, its vertical arrangement and moisture content, and weather conditions. [32] Fuel arrangement and density is governed in part by topography , as land shape determines factors such as available sunlight and water for plant growth. Overall, fire types can be generally characterized by their fuels as follows:

Especially large wildfires may affect air currents in their immediate vicinities by the stack effect : air rises as it is heated, and large wildfires create powerful updrafts that will draw in new, cooler air from surrounding areas in thermal columns . [58] Great vertical differences in temperature and humidity encourage pyrocumulus clouds , strong winds, and fire whirls with the force of tornadoes at speeds of more than 80 kilometres per hour (50 mph). [59] [60] [61] Rapid rates of spread, prolific crowning or spotting, the presence of fire whirls, and strong convection columns signify extreme conditions. [62]

The thermal heat from wildfire can cause significant weathering of rocks and boulders, heat can rapidly expand a boulder and thermal shock can occur, which may cause an object's structure to fail.

Wildfire’s occurrence throughout the history of terrestrial life invites conjecture that fire must have had pronounced evolutionary effects on most ecosystems' flora and fauna. [4] Wildfires are common in climates that are sufficiently moist to allow the growth of vegetation but feature extended dry, hot periods. [8] Such places include the vegetated areas of Australia and Southeast Asia , the veld in southern Africa, the fynbos in the Western Cape of South Africa, the forested areas of the United States and Canada, and the Mediterranean Basin .

In tundra there is a natural pattern of accumulation of fuel and wildfire which varies depending on the nature of vegetation and terrain. Research in Alaska has shown fire-event return intervals, (FRIs) that typically vary from 150 to 200 years with dryer lowland areas burning more frequently than wetter upland areas. [86]

According to a paper published in Science , the number of natural and human-caused fires decreased by 24.3% between 1998 and 2015. Researchers explain this a transition from nomadism to settled lifestyle and intensification of agriculture that lead to a drop in the use of fire for land clearing. [126] [127]

The number of people who have died as a result of fires in the home has increased significantly according to a report published by the Home Office.

The Fire Incident Response Times statistical bulletin reveals that in England between April 2015 and March 2016, the number of fatalities from fires in the home increased by 17.4% compared with the same period in 2014/15. This meant there were 34 more deaths than in the previous year.

The Fire Brigades Union (FBU) says these figures show how the government’s cost cutting exercise in the fire and rescue service has backfired.

Matt Wrack, general secretary of the FBU, said: “Firefighters are doing their best to provide a world class service but the government have compromised the service by axing thousands of posts, closing fire stations and cutting equipment. It is the public who will pay the price of the government’s folly. The decision to prioritise budget cuts ahead of public safety is another example of how out of touch this government is.”

The report also found that the average response time to primary fires had increased by 31 seconds since 2010. In rural areas, the figure was even worse with fire crews taking on average 48 seconds longer to get to emergencies.

Wrack added: “In a fire, every second counts. Those extra seconds might not sound like long, and ministers will try to dismiss them, but in an emergency, that time can be the difference between life and death.”

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The spread of wildfires varies based on the flammable material present, its vertical arrangement and moisture content, and weather conditions. [32] Fuel arrangement and density is governed in part by topography , as land shape determines factors such as available sunlight and water for plant growth. Overall, fire types can be generally characterized by their fuels as follows:

Especially large wildfires may affect air currents in their immediate vicinities by the stack effect : air rises as it is heated, and large wildfires create powerful updrafts that will draw in new, cooler air from surrounding areas in thermal columns . [58] Great vertical differences in temperature and humidity encourage pyrocumulus clouds , strong winds, and fire whirls with the force of tornadoes at speeds of more than 80 kilometres per hour (50 mph). [59] [60] [61] Rapid rates of spread, prolific crowning or spotting, the presence of fire whirls, and strong convection columns signify extreme conditions. [62]

The thermal heat from wildfire can cause significant weathering of rocks and boulders, heat can rapidly expand a boulder and thermal shock can occur, which may cause an object's structure to fail.

Wildfire’s occurrence throughout the history of terrestrial life invites conjecture that fire must have had pronounced evolutionary effects on most ecosystems' flora and fauna. [4] Wildfires are common in climates that are sufficiently moist to allow the growth of vegetation but feature extended dry, hot periods. [8] Such places include the vegetated areas of Australia and Southeast Asia , the veld in southern Africa, the fynbos in the Western Cape of South Africa, the forested areas of the United States and Canada, and the Mediterranean Basin .

In tundra there is a natural pattern of accumulation of fuel and wildfire which varies depending on the nature of vegetation and terrain. Research in Alaska has shown fire-event return intervals, (FRIs) that typically vary from 150 to 200 years with dryer lowland areas burning more frequently than wetter upland areas. [86]

According to a paper published in Science , the number of natural and human-caused fires decreased by 24.3% between 1998 and 2015. Researchers explain this a transition from nomadism to settled lifestyle and intensification of agriculture that lead to a drop in the use of fire for land clearing. [126] [127]

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