Brush/Wildfires are a large issue How are wildfires a growing issue in the U.S.?

Glossary

Region: Specific part of the world.

FEMA: Federal Emergency Management agency.

Prescribed burns: technique used in forest management that is used to reduce reduce the size of grassland.

Wildfire Disaster Funding Act: Bill from the Gov. that is mean't to help cover funding in wildfire suppression

What areas are being affected by wildfires?

Wildfires sightings have been a growing issue in states like Tennessee. They have been reported heavily in many regions of the world, but in the U.S.. this issue has affected many parts of the U.S., costing the state thousands of dollars. According to WBIR.com they state that “By mid-to-late October, 800 wildfires had burned across the state, and officials said many were ignited by arson.” With more than 90 active wildfires burning across Tennessee at the time, hundreds of firefighters from California, Washington and Idaho touched down to help. It was a rare move, but a crucial one.” Some wildfires are growing so large that it requires other states to come in and help take it out. Other states across the U.S. are experiencing these hellacious flames and try to gain support from the government. According to Chandrika Narayan of CNN.com, she states that “Crippling drought conditions are sparking blaze after blaze across six states in the South. More than 30 large wildfires have left a trail of destruction through 80,000 acres in North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, Tennessee, Alabama and Kentucky, according to the US Forest Service.” Wildfires can grow as large as trailing through six states (North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, Tennessee, Alabama and Kentucky) and burn thousands of acres in the process. The drought conditions in the area caused the fires to grow larger and be more difficult to take out. This shows how many wildfires can form together and create one large wildfire and move to other areas. Overall many states across the U.S. have been experiencing drought that is eventually leading to wildfires that harshly burns houses and land and this results in thousands of dollars in economic damages. Wildfires are proven to affect many areas in the U.S. and leads to the curiosity on how these fires get started.

Vast vegetation and land that could be destroyed in a wildfire.
What causes brush fires?
Having an increase of temperature changes climate and can affect the rate of wildfires.

Wildfires can happen naturally or intentionally, but other factors in the area can increase the chances of wildfires happening. According to The Christian Science Monitor, they state that “Forest officials are beginning their forest fire preparations early this year to try and head off what they fear will be a bad fire season due to drought and chronically overgrown forests.” Key factors that can lead to wildfires is that the forest itself is growing at an unstable pace and is needed to be cut down to reduce the size of a possible brush fire. This leads to some individuals believing that we should decrease the size of grass in forests by burning the grass to a smaller size. According to WBIR.com, they experienced a fire in East Tennessee and state that “In 2016, East Tennessee’s two wildfire seasons were marked with devastating loss -- as well as resolve and selfless donations. The landscape for the year’s wildfires began in the spring. An unseasonably dry March coupled with high winds led to several brush fires early on”. Climate change has been affecting most of the world and this includes East Tennessee where it was a more dry, arid season with dry winds and made it more prone to cause large wildfires if it catches fire. In the end, wildfires can occur by many reasons like overgrown size of forests and the change of climate around the U.S.. Climate change has been affecting large parts of the world by creating wildfires that damage houses and burns down acres of grassland.

How much destruction do wildfires cause to land?
Wildfires have been a growing concern in all U.S. states.

Wildfires can occur unexpectedly and cause damage to hundreds or thousands of acres of land and cost thousands of dollars in economic damages. One such fire burned in Eastern Tennessee. WBIR.com spotted an unexpected fire in East Tennessee where “over 2000 acres of land were destroyed in the brush fire”. The East Tennessee wildfire shows how thousands of acres can be erased from forests. Wildfires that occur can destroy land and living things in the area and add up with economic expenses. According to Earth Eclipse.com, large supporters of ecosystems and geography issues they state that “The immediate damages of wildfires are to the soil, wildlife, houses, and almost everything in its way. Millions of dollars are spent during and after the wildfires to extinguish, rebuild and rehabilitate what has been destroyed. When such fires spread to agricultural lands, crops and animals are destroyed. Losses are similarly experienced when fires spread to recreational areas. In precise, the economic losses associated with wildfires are immense.” There are many effects that can occur after a wildfire and many of those effects require funding or other natural changes to happen. Damages happen on soil, houses, crops, and animal population and some of these damages require large expenses that must be paid for by the economy. Overall, wildfires can cause destruction to land across the U.S. and leads to many houses and acres of land being destroyed. The destruction caused by wildfires are severe and affect a large amount of land but professionals are now finding out ways to resist the spread of forest and land fires.

What do professionals use to put out brush fires?
New helicopter devices are being made to help lower firefighters to the wildfire.

Firefighters use effective techniques such as using retardant and aircrafts to help put out wildfires. According to Amy Powell, reporter of abc7.com she states that “Air tankers drop lines of retardant, as the wind driven blaze threatens homes in the summit valley area”. To counter large flames going on in an area, professionals call out air tankers to fly around the area and drop retardant, a chemical substance that reduces flammability and combustion. Besides, firefighters using the common hose and water technique, they use air transportation to counter the fire from a distance and decrease the dangers of entering the heated fires. According to the USDA, they state that “Over the last few decades, wildfire costs have increased as a percent of the Forest Service’s budget as fire seasons have grown longer and more costly. The projected continued growth in the 10-year average cost of fire suppression through 2025 is rising to nearly $1.8 billion. This amounts to a nearly $700 million decrease in non-fire program funding in the next 10 years.” Putting out wildfires comes at a large cost and decreases the Forest Service budget each season. This shows that the equipment needed to put out fires is decreasing the Forest Service’s budget, but is necessary to put out the rising increase of wildfires. According to Kathiann M. Kowalski, from the support ecosystem group American Forests she states that “Agencies use updated helicopters and aircraft. The Forest Service has also invented a new descent device that lets firefighters slide down safely from helicopters, even in the ever-changing conditions of a wildfire. As workers build fire lines, other crews slow the fire's spread with foams, gels and retardants. Recent developments include more effective and environmentally safer products.” The American Forests group are coming up with ways to fight fires without causing harm to the environment. The American Forests have designed a device that allows firefighters to slide down helicopters to the ground and gives them more coverage of the fire on land to put out the fire quickly. Overall, wildfires have caused professionals to created ways to put out wildfires using eco-friendly retardant and develop devices for firefighters on helicopters but since wildfires are increasing each year, the Forest Service’s budget is decreasing. Professionals have successfully found out ways to fight back against wildfires, however forest groups are still pushing for support from the Gov. to create a law that could support the fight for extinguishing these fires.

Here's a link to the abc7.com interview with Amy Powell: http://abc7.com/news/evacuations-ordered-as-1500-acre-wildfire-erupts-near-silverwood-lake/1460531/?scrlybrkr=2c0b8ef8#

What is being done to prevent wildfires?
Professionals are now moving to decrease the size of grass lands by protectively burning the land.

Brush fires are becoming a widespread issue across the U.S. and many professionals are trying to find ways to reduce them as much as possible such as decreasing the size of grass and push for support from the Government. According to Kathiann M. Kowalski, from the support ecosystem group American Forests she states that “A group of 160 conservation, recreation, forestry and other groups, including American Forests, continue to fight for the successful passage of the Wildfire Disaster Funding Act. This act ensures funding for both wildfire first responders and for land managers, creating an emergency funding process for fire response that mirrors the funding process FEMA depends on to respond to other natural disasters. This process works to reduce the amount of emergency firefighting funds being borrowed from other important Forest Service programs.” American Forests and many other forest groups were struggling to supply enough funds to put out many of these brush fires occurring in the U.S. and caused them to push for Wildfire Disaster Funding Act that eventually got accepted by congress on January 6th, 2015. This act helped many forest support groups take out fires along with the support of the state and helps these forest groups raise funds for other important things like advanced equipment and technology. According to Christopher Joyce, reporter of the Weekend Edition Sunday, he states that “Johnson is a former smokejumper with more than 100 jumps in his career. He says fighting fire with fire — literally — makes sense, even if it may not seem logical to some. "It's hard to convince people it's a good thing," he says. "They've seen too many homes go up [in flames] on the news. And it's hard to get the message across that this has been going on for thousands and thousands of years. It's not easy to bring fire back in a landscape with people and livestock and homes in it. But the alternative, says Korb, is worse. "When we light fires, we can choose the conditions that the fires are burning under," he says. That makes them easier to control. Without the kind of thinning and burning that crews like this do, the backcountry forests of the West get overgrown to the point where natural fires become unstoppable. The U.S. Forest Service says it needs to thin or do prescribed burns in more than 200 million acres of Forest Service land; so far they only have money to do 3 million acres a year.” Some people believe that we must decrease the size of grass in an area so fires can be less destructive and decrease the amount of acres being burned. This would help save the amount of land in the U.S. and lower the costs of economic damages that wildfires cause. Creating intentional fires maybe an issue where individuals are creating unsupervised fires, but if professionals were in control of this technique there would be less accidents occurring and more successful burns lowering the size of grass. Overall, Forest groups have been very supportive on ensuring forests are protected by wildfires by making sure the Wildfire Disaster Funding Act is passed to support wildfire funding and create the technique of burning grassy areas to decrease the size of grass in an area not allowing fire to reach high peaks.

Works Cited page MLA

USDA. “Cost of Fire Operations." US Forest Service,4 August 2015, https://www.fs.fed.us/sites/default/files/2015-Rising-Cost-Wildfire-Operations.pdf

Christopher, Joyce. "Fighting Fire With Fire: Why Some Burns Are Good For Nature." Weekend Edition Sunday, 21 July 2013, http://www.npr.org/2013/07/21/203245958/fighting-fire-with-fire-why-some-burns-are-good-for-nature?scrlybrkr=a1365af5

“Evacuations Ordered as 1, 500-Acre Wildfire Erupts Near Silverwood Lake.” EyeWitness News ABC7, 8 August 2016, http://abc7.com/news/evacuations-ordered-as-1500-acre-wildfire-erupts-near-silverwood-lake/1460531/?scrlybrkr=2c0b8ef8

Schouten, Lucy. "Forest Managers Kick Prevention into Early Gear Ahead of Wildfire Season." The Christian Science Monitor, Apr 21 2016, http://www.csmonitor.com/Environment/2016/0421/Forest-managers-kick-prevention-into-early-gear-ahead-of-wildfire-season?scrlybrkr=c5f9f66c

Narayan, Chandrika. "Southern wildfires burn 80,000 acres across six states - CNN.com." CNN, 14 November 2016, http://www.cnn.com/2016/11/14/us/southern-wildfires/?scrlybrkr=342fbff7

Hardnett, Raishad. "East Tennessee's 2016 Wildfires: A Year of Devastation, Resolve and Selflessness." WBIR, Dec 28 2016, http://www.wbir.com/news/local/east-tennessees-2016-wildfires-a-year-of-devastation-resolve-and-selflessness/377747589?scrlybrkr=371d4f5b

"Various Causes and Effects of Wildfires | Earth Eclipse." Earth Eclipse, 2017, http://www.eartheclipse.com/environment/various-causes-and-effects-of-wildfires.html

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Created with images by Eggs&Beer - "DSC_7139" • evdropkick - "Tehachapi" • skeeze - "wildfire forest fire" • ChadoNihi - "landscape india cloudy" • Max Wolfe - "Overgrown - Kudzu" • paul bica - "toronto sunrise" • MultiplyLeadership - "X-49" • USDAgov - "noaa-satellite-map" • loggingunitfires - "Retardant drop" • Doug Letterman - "Blackhawk Rescue" • BLMOregon - "Prescribed underburn using a drip torch along the control line, hoselay placed along the fireline as extra precaution, western Oregon"

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