Research has revealed that the number of human-caused forest fires has increased in recent decades, which has led to a transformation of what is natural to devastating fires, as the new study of forest fires in America between 1984 and 2016 found that the main cause indicates human activity, despite That in the past, the strongest fires were caused by natural ignition types, such as lightning strikes or El Nio winds, which tended to be seasonal and easier to predict.
According to the British newspaper “Daily Mail”, fires can be caused by mankind’s intentionally, or by mistake, such as by fireworks and burning cigarettes.
The research team, led by CU Boulder Earth Lab, says that human-induced fires tend to be less hot and cover less space.
But they say this shift will make fires more frequent and difficult to predict, by separating them from weather patterns and normal seasons.
It can also lead to serious environmental damage, as areas unfamiliar with regular seasonal fires try to counteract the damage, often without adequate resources.
“The shift to more human-caused fires leads to a decrease in the intensity and magnitude of the fire, but this may not necessarily be a good thing,” researcher Megan Katoo told Euryerkert.
“There was an emphasis on severe fires, but any deviation from historical fire patterns from what Earth evolved into, can cause problems,” Katao added.
The team looked at fire data across the United States between 1984 and 2016, dividing the country into 3,300 networked pieces of satellite imagery, each measuring 31 miles by 31 miles.
They combined network information with data from more than 1.8 million individual government records, along with information collected by the United States Fire Database, and annual high temperatures have left many areas drier and covered with more combustible fuel sources, including Grass, dead trees and trees.
Also, at the same time, humans continued to build in new areas for residential and commercial developments, offering new areas for potentially dangerous human activity, such as fireworks or smoking.