Visual Encyclopedia

Wildfire

A wildfire or wildland fire is a fire in an area of combustible vegetation that occurs in the countryside or rural area. Depending on the type of vegetation where it occurs, a wildfire can also be classified more specifically as a brush fire, bush fire, desert fire, forest fire, grass fire, hill fire, peat fire, vegetation fire, or veld fire. Fossil charcoal indicates that wildfires began soon after the appearance of terrestrial plants 420 million years ago. Wildfire’s occurrence throughout the history of terrestrial life invites conjecture that fire must have had pronounced evolutionary effects on most ecosystems' flora and fauna. Earth is an intrinsically flammable planet owing to its cover of carbon-rich vegetation, seasonally dry climates, atmospheric oxygen, and widespread lightning and volcano ignitions.

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Fire and Smoke in San Bernardino National Forest

This short-wave infrared false-color image was captured by the Advanced Land Imager on the Earth Observing-1 satellite on June 20th 2015. This part of the forest rarely burns. Hot areas glow bright orange-red and relatively cooler areas of recently burned land are dark red.

Contributed by Sam Feldstone

This fire was a terrible tragedy.

Contributed by Khiara Lanier

The Yarnell wild fire in Arizona.

Contributed by Ky Thornton

The Yarnell wild fire killed 19 men. Wild fires are very dangerous, If you know someone who is a fire fighter or is training to be one tell them to be careful.

Contributed by Ky Thornton

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