California Wildfires Effects

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In the past decade there have been hundreds of wild fires in California which have led to thousands of acres being scorched and left uninhabitable by plants and animals, the death of many, and future consequences that don’t only affect those near the fire but those all over the world. There are many causes of these forest fires such as low water vapor concentration in the atmosphere and high air and surface temperatures. In 2005 the Blaisdell Fire burned through San Bernardino County in North Palm Springs from August 26th to September 29th. Below is the water vapor concentration map of the surrounding area of North Palm Springs stretching all the way to central California and down into parts of Mexico a month prior to the fire, the duration…show more content…
Wildfires can destroy entire habitats of plants and wipe out life over miles of land. Once these fires clear large areas of vegetation the loss of plants can heighten the risk of significant erosion and landslides. In sudden rainfall these cleared areas become extremely dangerous and some observers have even reported soil “glassification,” where the silica in the soils become melted and fused, forming an impermeable layer in the soil. This impermeable layer can make it very difficult for future plants to grow back and for animals to re-inhabit the area. Although many don’t think of a benefit to wildfires in the biosphere, there are some positive outcomes of wildfires. Many plants regrow quickly following wildfires, because fire converts organic matter to available mineral nutrients, thus allowing the recovering plants to flourish with the greater supply of nutrients. Also there are some plant species that regrow from root systems which are rarely damaged by wildfires. Stated by a congressional research service, Colorado Firecamp, “Other plant species, such as lodgepole pine and jack pine, have evolved to depend on stand replacement fires for their regeneration; fire is required to open their cones and spread their seeds” (Forest Fire 2004). There can also be benefits to animals following fires. Some species are attracted to burned areas following fires, even during or…show more content…
Most people think of these main effects on human life when they think of the consequences of wildfires, but there are other ramifications many don’t realize. One such consequence being the effect on local economies. Wildfires and even severe fire danger can directly decrease recreation and tourism in those areas, potentially taking away significant local government income. Also extensive damage to trees can significantly lower timber supply, both from the short term decrease in timber supply and the longer term decline while to trees regrow. Water supplies can be effected by post-fire erosion and stream sedimentation. In addition, if an area’s aesthetics are impaired, local property values can go down and it could take a long period of time for values to return to their original height. Wildfires can also lead to the closing of schools due to the poor air quality. For example, the 2007 California wildfires forced nearly 1,000,000 people out of their homes and during the span of about a week there were dozens of schools closed down throughout San Diego County and neighboring counties due to the poorness of air quality. It is evident the wildfires of California can be extremely dangerous and can cause serious ramifications, thus we need to do
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