Forest Fire: Struggling For Attention

Editorials News | Jun-20-2022

Forest Fire: Struggling For Attention

The most common hazard in the forest is a forest fire. Forest fires are as old as the forest itself. They pose of threat not only to the forest wealth but also to the entire regime to fauna and flora seriously disturbing the biodiversity and the ecology and environment of a region. During summer, when there is no rain for months, the forest became littered with dry senescent leaves and twigs, which could burn into flames ignited by the slightest spark. The Himalayan forests particularly the Garhwal Himalayas with Colossal loss of vegetation cover in that region. There are reasons or causes because which forest fires occur. Two causes of forest fire are:

(1) Natural Cause: Many forest fires start from natural causes such as lightning with sets trees on Fire. However, rain extinguishes such fires without causing much damage. High atmospheric pressure starts temperature and dryness (low humidity) offer favorable circumstances for fires to start.

(2) Man-Made Cause: Fire is caused when a source of fire like naked fire, cigarette or bidi, electric Spark, etc, or any other source of ignition comes into contact with inflammable material.

There are some types of forest fires also :

(1) Surface Fire: A forest fire may be primarily a surface fire spreading along the ground as the surface litter (senescent leaves, twigs, dry grass, etc) on the forest floor and is engulfed by the spreading flames.

(2) Underground Fire: The fire of low intensity consuming the organic matter beneath and the surface litter of the forest floor are sub-grouped as ground fire. In most dense forests a thick mantle of organic matter is found on the top of the mineral soil. This fire spreads by consuming such material. These fires usually spread entirely underground and burn for some meters below the surface. This fire spreads very slowly and in most cases, it becomes very hard to detect and control such types of fires. They may continue to burn for months and destroy the vegetative cover of the soil. The other terminology for this type of fire is muck fire.

(3) Ground Fire: These fires are fires in the sub-surface organic fuel such as duff leaves under forest and Arctic tundra or taiga and organic soil of swamp or bogs. There is no clear distinction between underground fire and groundfire. The smoldering underground fire sometime changes into the ground fire. This fire burns roads and other material on or beneath the surface it burns the herbaceous growth on forest decay. They are more damaging than surface fire as they can destroy vegetation completely. Groundfire burns underneath the surface by soldering combustion and is more often ignited by surface fire.

(4) Crown Fire: Crown fire is one in which the crown of trees and shrubs burns, often sustained by surface fire. A crown fire is particularly very dangerous in a Coniferous forest because resinous material given off by burning logs burns furiously. On hill slopes, if the fire starts downhill, it spreads up fast as heated air adjacent to the slope tends to flow up the slope spreading flame along with it. If the fire starts uphill, there is less likelihood of it spreading downwards.

The best way to control a forest fire is, therefore, to prevent it from spreading which can be done by creating fire breaks in the shape of small clearings of ditches in the forest.