Wildfires - Wildfires(Ch 16 Fire Process and Behavior...

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Wildfires (Ch 16) Fire Process and Behavior Wildland fires are natural part of forest evolution Benefit ecosystems by Thinning forests Reducing understory fuel Permitting growth of different species and age groups of trees Fuel, weather, topography affect wildfire behavior Fuel Fire requires three components: fuel, oxygen, heat Type of fuel available, its distribution and moisture content determine how quickly fire ignites and spreads Fuel loading is amount of burnable material Trees and dry vegetation burn at high temperature by reaction with oxygen Cellulose in plants breaks down to carbon dioxide, water and heat Natural oils and saps add to combustibles Large relative surface area accelerates ignition and burning Heavy fuels with small surface area ignite with difficulty and burn slowly Ladder fuels: low brush and branches that ignite first and allow fire to climb into higher treetops Crown fire burns through treetops with incredible speed and heat Ignition and Spreading Fires can be
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