Skip to main content

Wildfires are combustions, and to be started they need all the necessary elements, dry fuel included. Usually, plants that can be found in woods and forests maintain an inner humidity level that prevents ignition. Therefore, the climate of prone-to-fire wooded areas is humid enough to allow the growth of vegetation for some months, after which hot and dry months follow. Typical examples: southafrican veld, australian bush, northern american forests and mediterranean woods. Global warming concurred to the increased occurences of drought in such zones, increasing also the number of fires. It is clear now that the increase of fires has also upset natural cycles of some wild zones, eliminating some vegetal species and stimulating the growth of non-native weeds. Moreover, some invasive plants grow much easier in places that were devastated by a fire but, as they are easily flammable, they still raise the fire probability.
Not only are wildfires conditioned by climate change, but they even contribute to it. Indeed, during a fire the release of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere is large, so that it will be harder for the few plants that survived to reabsorb and elaborate it.