Have you ever heard of a fire triangle? Wildfires need three things to thrive and firefighters call these three things the fire triangle. They include a fuel source, such as dry wood and plants; oxygen, which is delivered by wind and air; and a heat source, such as a cigarette, a spark from a campfire, a lightning strike or even the sun.
Every year in the U.S., wildfires burn more than 5 million acres. Wildfires can start in a second and move at about 14 miles per hour.
Facts about Wildfires for Kids
- Most wildfires are caused by humans, but some fires are caused by nature.
- Wildfires can destroy homes and buildings and even kill people.
- In some ways, wildfires are good, though. They clear dead and diseased plants so new plants can grow.
- Firefighters sometimes fight wildfires from planes or helicopters. They drop water or fire-retardant chemicals on or near the fire.
- Firefighters also fight wildfires by cutting back brush and grass.
- In August 2018 California suffered the largest wildfire in the history of the state.
- In the event of a wildfire it is important to be prepared. Call 911 and take the advice of the authorities. If an order is made to leave the area, do so immediately. Leave all personnel belongings, you can replace them.
- Fill bathtubs and sinks with water and stay indoors with windows and doors closed but unlocked.
- Keep away from windows.
- If you happen to be caught outside in a wildfire keep low, try find a ditch and lie face down in it, covering your body. Try find an area clear from vegetation like trees and bushes.
- If you happen to be in your vehicle, close the vents and windows. Lie on the floor again covering your body. If you can find an area free from vegetation its safer, stay there, do not panic. It is very easy to become disorientated in a wildfire, so driving around unsure where you are going will only put you in more danger.
- Visit this government website and be prepared https://www.ready.gov/wildfires
- Thrive: grow, survive
- Fuel: something that can be burned or used for energy
- Spark: tiny flame
- Fire-retardant: doesn’t burn well
Learn More All About Wildfires
This is the best video we found for kids to learn about Wildfires:
This is a video animation about preventing wildfires.
Question: What can I do to prevent wildfires?
Answer: Most wildfires happen during the heat of summer in dry, western states, such as Utah, Idaho, California and Colorado. If you live in one of these states, follow local rules about fires and fireworks. Be extra careful with campfires.
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