It’s Wild

“Only you can prevent forest fires.” –Smokey T. Bear

Like you, I’ve been enjoying these wonderful days of spring/summer – blue skies, warm sun and magnificent sunsets.  When the weather is like this, even the house chores don’t seem so bad, as I head out and soak up “some rays”, taking in the fresh air while tending the lawn and gardens, making time for the grandkids, walks with Jackie and getting in few “rounds” now and then. Recently though, we’ve experienced something that’s not often a part of NE Ohio – smoke from wildfires up in Canada. Cloudy, hazy skies, thick air, and “particles” to be concerned with.  While not a super fun topic (those deviled eggs were good, weren’t  they!!?), I thought it good we all learn a little more about forest fires and their impact. The pictures from New York City are amazing! As always, be SUPER careful with any fire pit or camping activity, use common sense. – many communities have implemented fire bans altogether, especially in Canada!!. Many thanks to Google, WHO and and YouTube for the insights. Enjoy, and be careful!

  • The terms “wildfire” and “forest fire” are often used interchangeably, and there is no strict delineation between the two, as both refer to uncontrolled fires that spread across vegetation and can cause significant damage.
  •  “Wildfire” is a broader term that encompasses any uncontrolled fire in natural environments, including forests, grasslands, shrublands, and other types of vegetation. It emphasizes the wild and uncontrolled nature of the fire. “Forest fire,” on the other hand, specifically refers to fires that occur within forested areas, highlighting the dominant vegetation type affected. The terms “wildfire” and “forest fire” may be used differently depending on the regional or cultural context.   Show video of each.
  •  A wildfire is an unplanned fire that burns in a natural area such as a forest, grassland, or prairie. Wildfires are often caused by human activity or a natural phenomenon such as lightning, and they can happen at any time or anywhere. In 50% of wildfires recorded, it is not known how they started.
  • Over the past 25 years, wildfires and volcanic activities affected over 7 million people between nearly 3,000 attributable deaths worldwide from suffocation, injuries, and burns.
  • California alone spends over 1 billion dollars per year, with additional billions provided by the Federal Government.  So far this year, nearly 1.4 million square miles in Canada have been impacted, costing nearly 500 million dollars to control in equipment and manpower.  Thinning of the underbrush along with “controlled burns” has proven to have a significant positive impact on the prevention / minimization of damage.
  • Many ecosystems benefit from periodic fires, because they clear out dead organic material—and some plant and animal populations require the benefits fire brings to survive and reproduce.Jul 15, 2022

The Ecological Benefits of Fire – National Geographic Society

Do forest fires improve soil?
Soil fertility can increase after low intensity fires since fire chemically converts nutrients bound in dead plant tissues and the soil surface to more available forms or the fire indirectly increases mineralization rates through its impacts on soil microorganisms (Schoch and Binkley 1986).

Fuel: The availability and arrangement of fuel, such as dry vegetation, dead leaves, branches, and trees, play a crucial role in wildfire spread. Dense vegetation, accumulated dead fuels, and flammable materials provide ample fuel for the fire to consume and spread quickly.

Weather Conditions: Weather conditions significantly influence wildfire behavior. High temperatures, low humidity levels, and strong winds create an environment conducive to rapid fire spread. Dry and hot conditions evaporate moisture from vegetation, making it more susceptible to ignition. Strong winds not only fan the flames but also carry burning embers over long distances, igniting new areas ahead of the main fire.

Topography: The shape and features of the land can impact how a wildfire spreads. Steep slopes can aid in the rapid movement of flames, as the fire preheats and dries out vegetation in its path. Canyons and valleys can act as chimneys, intensifying fire behavior by channeling winds and increasing fire spread.

Ignition Sources: The source of ignition also influences how quickly a wildfire spreads. Human-caused ignitions, such as discarded cigarettes or sparks from equipment, often occur in proximity to flammable materials, increasing the chances of rapid-fire spread. Natural ignitions, like lightning strikes, can also initiate wildfires in remote areas with ample fuel.

Fuel Moisture Content: The moisture content of vegetation affects its flammability. Dry or drought-affected vegetation is more prone to ignition and faster fire spread. Lack of recent rainfall and prolonged dry spells increase the fuel moisture deficit, making the vegetation more susceptible to burning and facilitating rapid fire growth.

Fire Suppression Challenges: Difficult terrain, limited access, and remote locations can impede firefighting efforts, allowing the fire to grow unchecked for longer periods. Delays in detection, communication, and resource deployment also impacts the effectiveness of initial fire response, along with needed water and suppressants.

The World Health Organization (WHO) works with Member States to build resilient and proactive health systems that can anticipate the needs and challenges during emergencies so that they are more likely to reduce risks and respond effectively when needed. As the health cluster lead for global emergencies, WHO works with partners to in preparing, preventing, detecting, responding, and recovering from emergencies and disasters, including early warning systems, park policies, heatlh and air quality advisories and emergency response plans.

Governments, communities, and individuals can take measures to mitigate the risks associated with wildfires. This includes implementing fire-safe building codes, establishing evacuation plans, increasing public awareness about fire safety, and investing in early warning systems and firefighting resources.

Smokey the Bear helped us learn our role – Multiple commercials

Eddie Arnold song



Me, too.

As you may know the Kowalski Heat Treating logo finds its way
into the visuals of my Friday posts.
I.  Love.  My.  Logo.
One week there could be three logos.
The next week there could be 15 logos.
And sometimes the logo is very small or just a partial logo showing.
But there are always logos in some of the pictures.
So, I challenge you, my beloved readers, to count them and send me a
quick email with the total number of logos in the Friday post.
On the following Tuesday I’ll pick a winner from the correct answers
and send that lucky person some great KHT swag.
So, start counting and good luck!  
Oh, and the logos at the very top header don’t count.
Got it? Good.  :-))))
Have fun!!


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