It's almost every other day, during the summer months, that you turn on the news and there are reports of either a new forest fire breaking out or reports of the damage that an existing fire has already done. While one may not live in the affected area, the smell and feel of the thick and heavy smog blanketing the air is felt far beyond the source of the fire. And this, in my opinion, shows just how motile fire really is. It doesn't just spread from the source of the fire to burn through nearby carbon-based fuel sources but it also travels across vast distances in the form of smoke to affect air quality hundreds of kilometres away. As we discussed in class, fire is essential and important for our ecosystems. The issue is that wildfires today are (1) being exacerbated by climate change and (2) fires are just hotter now than ever before. The two issues make for a deadly combination. Climate change drys out wood and other carbon-based fuel sources in forests, allowing for faster combustion and the increased heat being emitted from the fires causes the burning of soil and seed beds. So not only is the fire expanding in area affected, it's also affecting the depth of damage.
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