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Western Wildfires, 2012

Western Wildfires, US 2012




.. What is a wildfire? A wildfire is an unplanned, unwanted wildland fire including unauthorized human-caused fires1. Vegetation fires are caused by slash and burn land clearing, clearing of plantations following logging operations, and by natural events such as lightning or extreme drought. During dry seasons fires usually reach a peak and can present a transboundary problem when prevailing winds disperse the smoke across borders to other countries2. .. Characteristics/Measurements: There are three different classes of wildland fires. A surface fire is the most common type and burns along the floor of a forest, moving slowly and killing or damaging trees. A ground fire is usually started by lightning and burns on or below the forest floor. Crown fires spread rapidly by wind and move quickly by jumping along the tops of trees. Wildland fires are usually signaled by dense smoke that fills the area for miles around3. .. Impacts/Causes of injury and damage: Destruction of vegetated and eventually inhabited areas and construction sites, potentially leading to large areas with ecological and economical losses. A major wildland fire can leave a large amount of scorched and barren land. These areas may not to return to prefire conditions for decades. If the wildland destroyed the ground cover, then erosion becomes one of several potential problems4. Smoke and other emissions contain pollutants that can cause significant health problems. The short-term effects contain destruction of timber, forage, wildlife habitats, scenic vistas, and watersheds. Furthermore the long-term effects contain reduced access to recreational areas; destruction of community infrastructure and cultural and economic resources5. .. Emergency action: Control Techniques: Bushfires are usually fought by numerous trained volunteers and a core of professional firefighters with vehicle -mounted equipment (in accessible terrain). Observation is often provided by light aircraft and helicopters. Water-bombing is also provided by helicopters with buckets which lift water from dams, lakes or swimming pools. They are effective in stopping spot fires ignited by windborne firebrands, sometimes kilometres ahead of the main fire-front. This greatly assists and contributes to the safety of firefighting crews. In large bushfires, bulldozers and graders are used to create emergency firebreaks ahead of firefronts. Back-burning from firebreaks is frequently effective in slowing or stopping the spread of fire.6. .. Mitigation: Mitigation includes any activities that prevent an emergency, reduce the chance of an emergency happening, or lessen the damaging effects of unavoidable emergencies. Investing in preventive mitigation steps now such as installing a spark arrestor on your chimney, cleaning roof surfaces and gutters regularly and using only fireresistant materials on the exterior of your home, will help reduce the impact of wildland fires in the future. For more information on mitigation, contact your local emergency management office.7 .. Further Information: Emergency Management Australia (EMA)$file/Hazards+7th+ed.pdf

Above info4mation is from UN-SPIDER

Special Features


Hazard Mapping System – US
Fires & Smoke Satellite Analysis
Fire Danger Map – US
Fire Detection Around The World
Fire Weather Outlook – US
Covering Florida Fires

International Wildfires

The following links are via the Global Fire Monitoring Center (GFMC), an Activity of the
UN International Strategy for Disaster Reduction  (UN-ISDR)

Current Global Fire Status
-Current & Archived Significant Global Fire Events and Fire Season Summaries
-Media Highlights on Fire, Policies, and Politics
-Regional and Global Vegetation Fire Emissions

Global Wildland Fire Early Warning System

International Assistance in Wildland Fire Emergencies
Emergency Assistance through the United Nations and the GFMC
International Agreements
Satellite Data for Wildland Fire Emergency Response
International Wildland Fire Response Operators and Material Suppliers
International Wildland Fire Exercises

Global Wildland Fire Network
Int. Wildland Fire Summit 2003
4th International Wildland Fire Conference 2007
5th International Wildland Fire Conference 2011

Global Fire Inventories and Models
Global Wildland Fire Assessment
Global Burnt Area Satellite Products
Other Remote Sensing Products
Fire Statistical Databases
Global Fire Models

International Forest Fire News (IFFN)

International Fire Management Programmes
Community-Based Fire Management (CBFiM)
Eurasian Fire in Nature Conservation Network (EFNCN)
International Peatland Fire Network
International Technical Cooperation Projects in Fire Management and Research
Fire Initiatives and Projects by NGOs

International Wildland Fire Research Programmes
United Nations University (UNU)
International Wildland Fire Research Programmes (IGBP-IGAC-BIBEX, IUFRO; IBFRA, FIRE PARADOX)

 Fire Meetings, Fire Management Training Courses & Jobs
Upcoming Fire and Related Meetings
GFMC-Wildland Fire Training Center Africa
Other Fire Management Courses and University Training
Retrospectives of Fire Meetings & Training Courses
Research and Employment Opportunities

Fire Glossaries, Literature and Software
Fire Management Glossaries
GFMC Fire Management Guidelines
Online Publications, Libraries and Bibliographies
U.S. Fire Information Systems and Software Products
International Association of Wildland Fire (IAWF)
Photo Archives and Contest

GFMC Links
-Australia and New Zealand

Europe / Russia / CIS
North America
South America
Remote Sensing of Vegetation Fires
Weather and Climate Forecasts
-Natural Disasters
-Global Environmental Monitoring

Other US Links

USDA Active Fire Mapping System
MODIS Fire Imagery
USGS: Western Wildfires
USGS: Wildfire Research
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Fire Management
National Interagency Fire Center
NIFC National Fire News
Wildland Fire Assessment
Calif Fires
Bureau of Land M’gmt
Florida Division of Forestry
National Park Service
Forest Service: Fire
Forest Service: Other Fire Links
The Natural Role of Fire
Montana Fires

Other US Wildfire Sites

UCSB Southern California Wildfire Hazard Center
Wildfire Images
Florida Today: Special Report
History of Wildfires
Wildfire News
American Red Cross: WildFires
Wildlandfire:”They Said”


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