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Chapter 14

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Carleton University
Earth Sciences
ERTH 2415
Claire Samson

ERTH2415Natural Disasters Chapter 14FiresFIRENatural forceHumans developed the ability to artificially generate fireControl of fire allowed for warmth which allowed people to migrate to colder climates and build diverse civilizationsFire for cooking increased the number of foods available plus improved their taste ease digestion nutrition sanitation and preservationUsed for hunting to drive game out from hiding and scare away predatorsAids agriculture by clearing lands of trees and creating fertilizer with ashy residueLed to being able to use metals and the creation of smelting due to the high temperatures that can be achievedBenefited sterilization for public healthcareThe heat from the burning of certain types of fuels allow for power lighting heating and travellingWildfire is a natural ecosystem process which is essential to many forestsMost fires are caused by humans in forests but lightningcaused fires account for most of the area burnedIn 2005lightning ignited 473 of the fires but those fires burned 735 of the area burned that year o Lightning fire tends to arrive in clusters generated by storms and can also overtax the capabilities of suppressing the firesalso happen in remote areas and are not easily noticedcan go for a while before ever being noticed o Human fires are more readily detected as they are closer to populated areas WHAT IS FIREFire is a RAPID combination of OXYGEN with CARBON HYDROGEN and other elements of organic material in a reaction that produces FLAME HEAT and LIGHTThe burning of forest vegetation is the photosynthetic reaction in reverse o IN photosynthesisplants take in water and carbon dioxide and use solar energy to build organic materialoxygen is given off as a byproduct of the reactionthe molecules of plants are tied together by chemical bonds between atomsbonds store some of the Suns heat as chemical potential energy o IN fireplant material is heated above its ignition temperature and oxygen begins combining rapidly with organic materialold chemical bonds are broken new bonds form between carbon and oxygen and between hydrogen and oxygen and then the stored energy is given off as heat during a fire
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