Without forests humans cannot survive. Forests are important to our environment and their benefits cannot be measured.
Fires can have a positive or negative effect on forests, and its impact on forest health and vitality varies greatly in different ecosystems.
Fires are sometimes essential for forest regeneration but also detrimental if it is repeated systematically in the same area. Forest fires have dire environmental, social and economic consequences.
- When a forest is destroyed oxygen can not be produced and carbon dioxide is not absorbed. Carbon dioxide is dangerous for our health and it increases the atmospheric pollution
- Carbon dioxide is also released during a forest fire
- An increase in carbon dioxide means an increase in the global warming
- When global warming rises the "Greenhouse" phenomenon is enforced and hurricanes and typhoons are more common
- Soil and forest leafage absorbs up to 50% of rain. After a fire water can not be retained anymore and floods occur as a consequence
- Soil is no more protected by the rain intensity and erodes
- Underground waters, springs and rivers are not enriched with water and the quality of water that we drink is downgraded
- When a forest suffers fires systematically, then the flora turns into bushes, the forest productivity reduces and finally it becomes barren and rocky
- The ground breaks into pieces and falls down in regions with high inclination so that the ecosystem cannot recover itself
- Shelter for animals and vegetation is no more provided. Animals are immediately affected when they are killed at the duration of fire and indirectly when no more food is available
- On average the restoration of the burnt forest areas can take up to 50 years
- Body of waters are polluted from the tons of ashes that are carried away with the first rains after the fire. Thus various species of fishes and plants are affected
- Wind and noise is more intense
- Forest products are destroyed, such as wood, food and medicines
|Social and economic Consequences|
- During forest fires agricultural land, farms and harvest are destroyed
- Destruction occurs in infrastructures, buildings, in the road or rail network, in the telecommunications network and in electrical stations
- After rains or storms follow floods, because there are no trees to absorb part of the rainfall and burnt soil becomes hydrophobic. As a result there is damage to the agricultural sector, streets, houses etc.
- The agricultural consequences also have direct influence to unemployment
- Citizens are forced to move to neighbouring urban areas because of unemployment as a direct result of the fires and thus these burnt areas become deserted
- Forest Fires reduce tourism to the affected areas
- The quality of life for residents is reduced
- Human health such as respiratory problems are affected not only during the fire but also after due to the increase of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere
- A fire can affect citizens psychologically due to the loss of their homes and loved ones
- Reduction of wood and other forest products for many years until the forest is restored
- Recreational, cultural or athletic areas are destroyed
- Economy is overloaded with the enormous expense of putting out a fire and the expense that is required for the re-establishment of damaged areas
- Destroyed areas are often commercially and residentially developed and as such the forest is lost forever