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Dangers, Causes, and Effects of Wildfires Essay

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Updated: Sep 7th, 2022

Wildfires have become a significant environmental concern that threatens the sustainability of natural resources and endangers human lives. Continuous human impact on the planet causes inevitable changes in the ecosystems that result in such disastrous events as wildfires. The dangers and adverse effects they impose call for immediate action. The complexity of the problem accompanying the intensification of wildfires requires complex approaches to finding an effective solution.

The dangers of wildfires include mortality, property damage, and morbidity. According to Rossiello and Szema, the increased number of fires in the wild imposes the danger of being killed or bearing cost losses and emotional complications (par. 2-4). The government experiences a financial burden when managing wildfires; the suppression costs have risen to over one billion per year since the 2000-s (Rossiello and Szema par. 5). Life safety and health problems are related to dangerous chemical pollution as a result of wildfires.

The common causes of wildfires are global warming and such supporting risk factors as forest health, ignition, and fuel characteristics. As Engel et al. found, “warm summer conditions, … low dry fuel moisture levels, ignition of most of the largest fire,” and diminished forest health have been the most likely drivers of the recent wildfires (Engel et al. 9). Despite the supporting factors, the overall rising average temperature on the planet is thoughts to be the main cause. Rossiello and Szema state that weather anomalies are influenced by the fact that the temperature rises by 0.9 degrees in a year (par. 2). Thus, climate change is a key

The uncontrolled and frequent occurrence of wildfires has multiple adverse effects on the ecosystems and people’s health. The production of large masses of smoke and human exposure to the chemicals causes respiratory diseases and higher morbidity and mortality rates (Williamson et al. 4). Deforestation, as the aftermath of wildfires, causes forest watersheds and lower drinking water quality (Hohner et al. 1235). It is vital to find an inter-disciplinary solution to eliminate these threats of wildfires.

Wildfires impose severe short- and long-term threats to human lives and the planet. Being caused by climate change, they lead to high mortality, smoke-induced morbidity, and ecological problems, such as diminished water quality, air pollution, and deforestation. Wildfire problem complexity triggers complex and inter-disciplinary approaches to solution-finding. Immediate action is needed on the local, federal, and international levels to prevent wildfires by eliminating their primary causes.

Works Cited

Engel, Ruth A., et al. “On the Causes of the Summer 2015 Eastern Washington Wildfires.” Environmental Research Communications, vol. 1, no. 1, 2019, pp. 1-11.

Hohner, Amanda K., et al. “Wildfires Alter Forest Watersheds and Threaten Drinking Water Quality.” Accounts of Chemical Research, vol. 52, no. 5, 2019, pp. 1234-1244.

Rossiello, Michael R., and Anthony Szema. Cureus, vol. 11, no. 5, 2019, e4771, Web.

Williamson, G. J., et al. Environmental Research Letters, vol. 11, no. 12. 2016, pp. 1-12, Web.

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