A SECOND OPINION: Wildfires Blaze in the Summer Heat

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Fighting wildfires is a heroic job. I wish the firefighters well in season 2023.


by Mary Foran

With heat waves scorching much of the US and Canada, wildfires have been the inevitable outcome, both man-sparked and sparked by lightning.

A wildfire, forest fire, brushfire, wildland fire or rural fire is an unplanned, uncontrolled and unpredictable fire in an area of combustible vegetation.

Texas, which has been suffering from triple-digit temperatures F., has reported 101 fires with more than 32,330 acres burned.

In Oregon alone, wildfires have destroyed 45,000 acres and 48 homes so far and the fires are still raging. There has been no traces of rain in 3 months and fire danger is high.

In Canada in 2023 there have been 4,241 fires which have scorched at least 11 million hectares of land (over 27.1 million acres). Smoke from the Canadian fires hung over the mid-west and New York and environs for days causing very unhealthy air quality in those areas.

Be sure to follow campfire bans to prevent wildfires

In Europe, temperatures have soared during the summer and Spain has been one of the hottest spots. A wildfire in Greece decimated an area the size of London.

So what does one do in a wildfire situation? Evacuation orders should be followed to be sure. A home can be replaced but not a life.

Prevention of wildfires is the key: be sure to follow campfire bans and regulations and put out any campfire that you start with water and soil.

Be careful of sparks from farm equipment or trailer hitches and exhaust pipes. And never throw away a cigarette butt that hasn’t been completely extinguished. Better yet, pack them out with your garbage.

You should always bring water with you when you go out into the woods anyway, so be prepared.

Fighting wildfires is a heroic job. I wish the firefighters well in season 2023.


Featured image/US Fish and Wildlife Service, Southeast Region’s photostream, PD via Flickr
Quote mark/Oakus 53/CC BY-SA4.0 via Wikimedia Commons
Fire/barbostick, CC BY-SA2.0 via Flickr
Campfire ban/Kaibab National Forest, PD via Flickr