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The Dangers of Outdoor Fires

When outdoor fires occur, they pose a very real danger to everyone. Not only can they take a toll in terms of human lives, but these fires regularly cause extensive damage in towns and cities.

When they are not efficiently handled, they can spread, causing even more damage to the surrounding area. Fires, as they occur in the wild land and urban interface, have frequently appeared in news reports in recent years.

Nine of the 25 most costly fires in recent history have been described as forest or wild land fires. These were incredibly costly in terms of property damages. Eight of these fires had occurred in the last two decades.

In such events, federal or state agencies will typically become involved in order to take care of the problem. The wild land and urban interface term, abbreviated as WUI, is used to describe locations vegetation will mix with man-made structures and their inhabitants.

Local fire departments will typically respond to 334,200 brush, grass, and forest fires as they occur every year. On average, more than 915 of these fires were reported daily, and studies show that one in every five fires were set on purpose.

35% of these fires occurred in open grasslands or fields that contained enough dry vegetation to spark them. 16% of these fires occur on highways, parking areas, and other sections where vegetation met man-made structures. 10% fires will occur in one or two family homes, causing extensive structural damages.

Almost half of all wildfires have been caused by cigarettes or other smoking materials. When they are not properly put out, they can spark dry brush or get caught in wood chips, sawdust, and shavings, all of which can quickly become airborne and spread the fire.

Studies show that Saturdays are often the peak days for these fires, and July 4th was the most prevalent day for such fires to occur. That day experiences roughly five times the daily average of fires.

Practicing fire safety at all times and making sure that you are careful around lit materials can help significantly reduce the prevalence of outdoor fires.