Wildfire Exam Questions - AQA Geography B

Two exam questions with the answers provided. They both score 100%

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  • Created on: 04-04-11 19:59
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Why are some areas more likely to experience wildfires than other
places? (5marks)
Some areas area's are more prone to wildfires setting alight then others. This
could be down to a number of different reasons.
Firstly, in tourist areas such as Greece or California there are large amounts of
people going either camping or celebrating with fireworks etc. The amount of
campers increase the risk of wildfires as they light fires for barbeques or take a
smoke in the forest. These fires can easily set alight to an entire forest.
Furthermore, tourists also go abroad and celebrate using fireworks; the sparks
may land on forest land and cause a wildfire.
Furthermore, the weather in an area also increases the chance of an area
catching fire. Areas that have much hotter and dryer weather, with reduced
moisture also increase the chances of wildfires. Sparks can be caught with the dry
weather and they would not be put out due to the lack of moisture in the
atmosphere. Furthermore, weather can also take effect through wind. If the
wind in an area is extremely strong then more oxygen is provided and more hot
heat is developed. The wind direction also is a factor as the changing direction
confuses fire fighters ­ prolonging there efforts to put them out.
Lastly, areas with plenty of vegetation, tall closely spaced trees like in forests also
have more of a chance to experience wildfires. This is due to the reason that the
plants produce the combustible oils and resins which are flammable and catch fire
Unlike earthquakes, volcanoes and tropical storms, wildfires are mainly
caused by the actions of people. Do you agree with this statement?
I agree with this statement as I feel wildfires are caused mostly by human actions
rather then nature.
There are only few nature problems that lead to wildfire, such as lightning.
Lightning storms may strike a forest, causing a fire and then spreading it. There
is also volcanic eruption where the larva may cause a fire.
However, these problems are seriously outnumbered by the number of things
done by human to cause wildfires. Humans can easily set a light to a field or dry
vegetation by carelessly dropping a cigarette on the ground or drop broken glass
which can magnify the suns rays and lead to fire. This is a simple but very
common thing that occurs.
Furthermore, common things like fireworks also are caused by humans and yet
they catch fire. Sparks put out by fireworks during festivals or celebrations in
tourist attractions can set alight to dry areas or forests that are easily
flammable. Similarly, camp fires and barbeques left unattended can end up in a
huge mess. Direct fire onto dry crops and in forests can lead to huge wildfires.
Humans also carry out controlled burning which is done deliberately and could
easily go out of control and end up in a huge wildfire. Strong wind can make this
fire spread even further and make it larger. Arson also covers a large number of
wildfires - up to 30% - and this is an intentional human activity.
Lastly, even mechanical causes such as tractors and harvesters catch alight in dry
fields. Trains cause electric sparks and catch alight with frictions and electric


ghazala Ramzan

comprehensive notes on wildfires 

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