| Forest fires and wildfires can cause destruction in many
ways. They can destroy trees and grasses. It can also kill animals
due to smoke and fumes. Still, forest fires can be a natural way
to let new growth come through the old plants.
The main way a forest fire can start is lightning. It mostly strikes the tallest trees in a forest, bursting the crown into flames! The fire can quickly spread from tree to tree, causing a huge forest fire. The fire can spread along trees that have fallen down and let the fire spread across the ground at a rapid rate! This can transfer fires over long distances, and wreak more havoc.
Fire is a very interesting phenomena. It can scorch one section of a forest to a blackened crisp, and leave a section next to it untouched! It can also skip across canyons and dry, fuel less lands by the way of embers that get swooped up by the wind. Sometimes, an actual fire can skip across an area covered with sand by merely blowing itself across!
One of the most dangerous types of forest fires is one called a firestorm. This amazing fire type can quickly change directions, pause suddenly, and move about as if it has a mind of its own. Out of all fires, firestorms are often the hardest to put out. Firestorms can twist a weaving path as they go, leaving a winding trail of burnt trees and underbrush behind them.
One of the reasons that many natural parks have such varied landscapes is because of fire. Fires that strike these parks sometimes burn certain sections, but leave others unharmed. In the clear spaces, wild underbrush and wildflowers grow quickly in the new sunlight. There is a certain flower called fireweed that flourishes plentifully after a fire, but begins to die out as new trees grow in and fill their sunlight with shade. Two parks that are varied because of fires are the Everglades and Yellowstone National Park. If it wasn't for fire, there would barely be any meadows in these beautiful places!
Fires can have good effects for the forest that they burn down, even! Where old trees, dying trees burn down, younger, healthy trees spring up in their place. Some trees are even adapted to give out there seeds during forest fires. Some pine trees make certain pine cones called Serotinous Cones that only open to let their seeds out in the heat of a blazing fire. Later, the trees grow to be big and strong in the rich fertilizer made of ashes.
Even though forest fires can do some good to fix what they ruined, the effects of forest fires are still visible after many years. If you see black tree skeletons standing on the side of the road, you can guess that a forest fire swept through there once. Though many think it is bad, for forests fires can be a good experience for it. If it weren't for fires, many of your favorite places would be merely forests. So, the next time you visit your favorite campsite and enjoy the view, thank forest fires for providing the wonderful, varied landscape!