Textbook Notes (363,144)
Canada (158,220)
Geography (105)
GG231 (31)
Rob Milne (27)
Chapter 11

Chapter 11 - Wildfire

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Wilfrid Laurier University
Rob Milne

Risks and DisastersChapter 11Wildfires in BC in 2003 o Introduction to Wildfire o Wildfiresancient phenomenon dating back to more than 350 million years o After a fire colonizing plants become established on burned landscapeSome plants evolved to rely on and use fire to their advantageOakredwood trees have fire damage resistant barkSome pine cones only open after a fireEucalyptus trees in Australia grow back after a fire o Natural fires started by lightning strikes and volcanic eruptions allowed humans to harness fireBroadened diet and increased area for settlementWildfire as a process o Self sustaining rapid hightemperature biochemical oxidation reaction o Requires three thingsFuel oxygen and heat o Plant tissue and other organic material rapidly oxidized by combustion or burning o Complex combustionReleases chemical compounds in solid liquid and gasNitrogen oxides carbonyl sulphide carbon monoxide methyl chloride and hydrocarbonsAsh and soot o Three phasesPreignitionPreheatingo Vegetation preheated losing water and volatile compoundsPyrolosis o Group of processes that chemically degrade preheated fuel o Products includevolatile gases mineral ash tars and carbonaceous charCombustionBegins with ignition and marks start of processes that are different from ones related to preignitionIgnition does not necessarily lead to wildfires o Develops only when vegetation is dry and high enough quantity to carry fire across landOnce area has burned low fuel supply prevents future wildfiresIgnition repeats time and time again as it travelsTwo types of combustion o Flaming combustionRapid hightemperature conversionSustains flames as fire advances across landscape o Glowing or smouldering combustionThree processes control transfer of heat o Conduction radiation convectionMainly transfer by convectionExtinctionPoint at which combustion ceases extinct when no longer sufficient heat and fuel to sustain it o Fire environmentFuelComplex and differ in type size quantity arrangement and moisture content
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