Increase in Wildfires caused by Humans 1

Screenshot 2017-03-08 at 1.21.28 PM

Oanh Tran and Evelyn Huynh

Five out six wildfires are caused by humans.  Due to the increase of temperature and “accidents” in the past years, wildfires are continuing to get out of control.  

“People are moving more and more into natural wild areas and essentially providing ignition for wildfires,” said lead author Jennifer Balch, a fire ecologist at the University of Colorado.

As wildfire season naturally only lasts 46 days, the human race caused fires that have tripled the length of the season.  (Up to 154 days)  

29% of fires began by trash burning, 21% arson, and 11% misuse of equipment.  During events like 4th of July, one out of five wildfires is caused by fireworks.

Amherst researcher, Bethany Bradley, says lightning sparked fires tend to start in uninhabited areas, but fires set up by people usually take place near where people live and camp.

“Humans are starting larger and larger fires in the springtime, and we think that actually part of the reason for that is because of warmer and drier conditions,” says Bradley. “It’s basically shifting the summer time earlier. Spring is happening earlier, summer is happening earlier, and we’re the cause of all of these spring emissions.”


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