The serious impact of forest fires

Forest fires have devastating effects on residents and the environment (stock)

Natalia Welzenbach-Marcu | August 14th, 2018

With forest fires being a pressing issue in California, Nevada, and Canada, recent studies have been published illustrating the effects of these wildfires on the environment, in an attempt to help people understand just how devastating they can be.

Merritt Turetsky, a professor at Canada’s University of Guelph and an ecosystem expert, explains that forest fires burn away soil and vegetation around forest areas. The fires also destroy all of the soil anchoring what’s normally left of the trees after a large fire, leaving them at risk of being blown or batted away towards resident’s homes.

The erosion of natural soil removes what is essentially a forest’s protective layer, leaving the ground open for further erosion by raindrops and water, leading to potential interference with the soil occasionally contaminating nearby rivers and streams.

While Turetsky notes that fires now seem to burn away far more vegetation than in the past, he hopes that solutions will help control the deadly flames in future.

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