“Imagine you were living in a forest, and you got stuck in a wildfire. What would you do? Even if you escaped the fire, and the firefighters managed to put it out, wouldn’t it still impact your life forever?”
(Image generated from: https://deepai.org/machine-learning-model/fantasy-world-generator)
Smoke. It gently seeped into a fox’s burrow, penetrating its light air of happiness, bringing cold into the hearts of anything that saw it. A mother fox was sleeping soundly next to her 3 cubs. She stirred as she smelt the smoke and opened her eyes.
Everything was blurry. She could make out light coming from the opening. She wondered what it was since it was still very early in the morning and got up. She peered out of the mouth of the burrow. It seemed like a cold knife sliced through her heart as she realised what it was. Squeaking, she jumped up and woke her cubs, ushering them outside.
A huge wave of flames and heat was coming toward them, setting fire to everything it touched. Horrified, the fox and her cubs start running for their lives. It seemed like the fire was getting bigger and coming faster with every second. As the family of foxes ran, they caught sight of many woodland animals running for their lives. A mother bear with her bear cubs, a deer, and a family of badgers. Above them, they heard the frightened twittering of birds flying to safety.
The mother fox kept running, not giving up as the wildfire started closing around her and the little cubs. The smoke was getting thicker, and soon, it obscured the foxes' sight. The mother fox stopped running and gathered her cubs as the wildfire started closing around them. She huddled with her cubs as the wildfire came and-
I wrote that story to help you understand my topic better. Wildfires are not a very cheerful topic to elaborate on. However, I must let you know of the unpleasant consequences it brings.
What causes Wildfires?
A wildfire (according to WHO) is an “unplanned fire that burns in a natural area such as a forest, grassland, or prairie.” As we all know, most wildfires happen due to human activity. This includes arson, open burning, smoking, etc. 87% of wildfires around the world in the last ten years were caused by humans.
When it comes to natural causes, compared to man-made causes, it isn’t much. Most natural wildfires start because of lightning. Other causes include high temperatures and drought.
Wildfires and Animals:
Wildfires have a huge impact on animals that live in that particular area. Research shows that over 480 million animals were to have died in the 2020 Australian bushfires. Most creatures suffer from physical injuries, such as severe burns and smoke. Animals may suffocate from the amount of smoke they inhale while running away.
Another effect wildfires have on them is habitat loss. In the North Complex fire in California, 318,00 acres of land were burnt. This disaster displaced hundreds of livestock. Animals are forced to move to another habitat, which they would find it difficult to adapt to. This new habitat could potentially bring more predators, bringing animals into the hands of danger once again.
Wildfires and Humans:
Wildfires can have many effects on humans too. 2400 people died between 1998-2017 from lung diseases, suffocation, and burns caused by wildfires. Increasing air pollution from wildfires can result in many health problems. This can spark cases of respiratory and cardiovascular diseases.
Wildfires can be detrimental to children and older individuals. They cause a matter called particle pollution. It is a “mix of very tiny solid and liquid particles suspended in the air.” This can lead to many problems like asthma, bronchitis, and stroke. According to doctors, this can actually kill us, as its effects can bring dire consequences.
Wildfires are something that we definitely need to focus on solving. Because of wildfires, our lives and the lives of many other living things are being put in danger. Since wildfires are mostly caused by human activity, we need to stop this as soon as possible.
However, there is one man who isn’t aware of this. He drops his cigarette butt on the forest he is walking through. A hot gust of wind blows it onto one side, and suddenly, it sparks to life. Unfortunately, the man doesn’t notice the tiny flame growing menacingly behind him.
Sara is a 14-year-old who studies at Ahmadhiyya International School and is currently in seventh grade. She loves reading books, watching anime, singing, and going outside. Her passion for reading books has given her a talent for writing stories, and she is currently writing a novel of her own. Sara is particularly interested in topics like palaeontology and marine biology. Her main curiosity is what dinosaurs actually looked like in the past. Sara wants to be a fashion designer or an author when she grows up.
Cite this article as:
Sara Ismail Shan, Wildfires: The Burning Menace and its Consequences, theCircle Composition, Volume 4, (2023).