The Aviation, Forest Fire and Emergency Services (AFFES) reported that Ontario saw a smaller number of forest fires in 2016 compared to last season however this year's forest fires burned larger areas of land and were harder to control. Both human, natural, and lightning-caused fires were reported.
Forest fires, however, are important and beneficial to forest ecosystems. Letting forest fires occur allows nutrients to enter the soil to start new growth and regeneration. At the same time, these fires must be controlled, if at all possible, to avoid destruction like the Fort McMurray wildfires earlier this year.
Raging wildfire in Fort McMurray
In geographical areas where there are wet winters and long, summer droughts, one can expect forest fires to occur more frequently. The large amount of water from the winter nourishes growing plants in the Spring, bringing a lot of vegetation that have the potential to dry out during the Summer months. Shrublands and grasslands are more susceptible to forest fires because their thinner plant stems catch fire easily.
At the same time, large wildfires contribute to the biodiversity of a forest. Plants like the lodgepole pines can withstand high temperatures. After the fire dies down, they release seeds into the soil. Parameters like temperature, carbon dioxide, and particulate matter are important to monitor during the event of a forest fire.
Lodgepole Pine Cones
Forest fires release the carbon stored in trees and vegetation and also emit large amounts of particulate matter into the atmosphere. Temperatures can reach up to 800 degrees Celsius and higher.
Ambience Data understands the importance in forest fire monitoring and the potential impacts these fires have on our atmosphere. We believe having this information is important for thriving forest ecosystems as well as a clean atmosphere.