Human Causes of Wildfires

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There are many causes of wildfires, and you need to know them for your exam. Here is a list of the human causes of wildfires.

  • accidents (e.g. children playing with matches)
  • campfires
  • discarded cigarettes
  • broken bottles
  • arson
  • "slash and burn"
  • sparks from train wheels or machinery
  • military training
  • chimneys and barbeques

How do these things cause wildfires?

  • Accidents - things like children playing with matches causes wildfires because although accidental, the risks were obvious. Playing with matches can cause a fire if dropped onto vegetation, and children often don't know what to do in a situation like this, and so it spreads.
  • Campfires - if people don't put their campfires out properly, or leave it unattended temporarily, then the fire can spread. This can happen from small embers hitting vegetation, or the wind feeding the flames.
  • Discarded cigarettes - people often don't stub out their cigarettes, but just throw them on the ground. This means they are still smouldering, and all it takes is for it to land in a bush, or an area of dry…


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