The Origin of Wildfires and How They Are Caused.

By Steve Nix

Imagine, if there is no history.

What would be the world looks like?

What will be things looks like?

Giving importance to the history and going back to historical moments and keep looking and asking what was actually happened in a critical and analytical view.

I wasn’t an historian. I read in schooldays as a subject. That’s it. Over a year, I started understanding and knowing about the origin of anything. Not only the topics that I had written in my blogs so far. I would again say, which I said in my earlier blogs, if you know what was happened in the past, there would be a huge possibility that you can able to predict the future. You could able to get fine amount of experience through reading.

It takes time to know and gather about those stuffs, but it’s worthy.

Here, I’m gonna share the one of the informative article from a thoughtco website. I will paste the source link down below and I sincerely encourage you all to visit to read the full article.

About the writer:

Steve Nix

Forestry Expert


B.S., Forest Resource Management, University of Georgia


  • Worked for a forestry consulting company
  • Managed a county forestry and wildfire program
  • Wrote about forest resources as an analyst for the state of Alabama
  • Wrote U.S. Forest Service technical reports
  • Earned numerous certifications in forest resource management


Steve Nix is a former writer for ThoughtCo who contributed articles about forestry for more than 19 years. Steve researched, analyzed and wrote about forest resources in the southern United States during nearly 20 years as a forest resources analyst for the state of Alabama. His experience includes working with a private forestry consulting company and managing county forestry and wildfire program in Randolph County, Alabama.

Steve earned certificates in several forestry specialization areas, including Conservation Law Enforcement, Forest Wildlands Burning, and Forest Pesticide Application. Nix was also an Alabama Registered Forester and is a member of the Society of American Foresters. His ThoughtCo articles and data appear in numerous newspapers, natural resource magazines, and in U.S. Forest Service technical reports. 


Steve Nix holds a bachelor’s degree in Forest Resource Management from the University of Georgia. 

ThoughtCo and Dotdash

ThoughtCo is a premier reference site focusing on expert-created education content. We are one of the top-10 information sites in the world as rated by comScore, a leading Internet measurement company. Every month, more than 13 million readers seek answers to their questions on ThoughtCo.

For more than 20 years, Dotdash brands have been helping people find answers, solve problems, and get inspired. We are one of the top-20 largest content publishers on the Internet according to comScore, and reach more than 30% of the U.S. population monthly. Our brands collectively have won more than 20 industry awards in the last year alone, and recently Dotdash was named Publisher of the Year by Digiday, a leading industry publication.

Most wildfires are started accidentally by humans.

It is interesting to note that, of the four billion years of earth’s existence, conditions were not conducive for spontaneous wildfire until the last 400 million years. A naturally-occurring atmospheric fire did not have the chemical elements available until major several earth changes occurred.

The earliest life forms emerged without needing oxygen (anaerobic organisms) to live about 3.5 billion years ago and lived in a carbon dioxide based atmosphere. Life forms that needed oxygen in small amounts (aerobic) came much later in the form of photosynthesizing blue-green algae and ultimately changed the earth’s atmospheric balance toward oxygen and away from carbon dioxide (co2).

Photosynthesis increasingly dominated earth’s biology by initially creating and continuously increasing the earth’s percentage of oxygen in the air. Green plant growth then exploded and aerobic respiration became the biologic catalyst for terrestrial life. Around 600 million years ago and during the Paleozoic, conditions for natural combustion started developing with increasing speed.

Wildfire Chemistry

Fire needs fuel, oxygen, and heat to ignite and spread. Wherever forests grow, the fuel for forest fires is provided mainly by continued biomass production along with the resulting fuel load of that vegetative growth. Oxygen is created in abundance by the photosynthesizing process of living green organisms so it is all around us in the air. All that is needed then is a source of heat to provide the exact chemistry combinations for a flame.

When these natural combustibles (in the form of wood, leaves, brush) reach 572º, gas in the steam given off reacts with oxygen to reach its flash point with a burst of flame. This flame then preheats surrounding fuels. In turn, other fuels heat up and the fire grows and spreads. If this spreading process is not controlled, you have a wildfire or uncontrolled forest fire.

Depending on the geographic condition of the site and the vegetative fuels present, you might call these brush fires, forest fires, sage field fires, grass fires, woods fires, peat fires, bush fires, wildland fires, or veld fires.

How Do Forest Fires Start?

How Does Wildland Fire Spread?


With respect.

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