In 2016, more than 65,000 wildfires burned 5.4 million acres of land in the United States according to the National Centers for Environmental Information. The worst part? Many of these wildfires could have been prevented.
While some wildfires are caused by lightning, approximately 90 percent are caused by human error. Many times, wildfires occur when campfires are left unattended, debris is burned improperly or cigarettes are carelessly discarded.
A wildfire can grow rapidly out of control when the three following conditions are present: oxygen, fuel and a heat source. The fuel can be any materials that are flammable near the wildfire, and the heat source can be a variety of things, like campfires, cigarettes or even warm winds. When these three conditions are met, a violent wildfire can ensue.
By taking a few extra precautions, campers and outdoor enthusiasts can enjoy the sights of nature without causing a wildfire. Here are a few tips from National Geographic to help prevent wildfires
If conditions are right and you find yourself in the path of a wildfire, evacuate immediately. Listen to local emergency notifications for the most up-to-date information. Better yet, make a wildfire plan for you and your family before a fire occurs.
Visit https://www.ready.gov/wildfires for more information about wildfire safety and prevention.
Rob Ford is Tipmont and Wintek's communication director, a role he's held since 2015.
Rob has a bachelor's and a master's in Communication from Purdue University. He lives in West Lafayette with his wife and three children and has a life-sized Yoda statue in his office. Away from the office, you’ll find Rob working on his golf swing, jump shot, or hope for a Purdue basketball national title – all futile endeavors.