Top 10 Causes Of Wildfire And How To Be Prepared For One

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A wildfire is an unplanned and unwanted fire burning in a natural area, which can occur anywhere globally and anytime within the year, especially during little or no rainfall. Many homes are prone to wildfires, and to reduce the risk of loss of life or injury, it calls for preparations before such an emergency that needs evacuation strikes. Wildfire is a natural disaster, and thus, in its most possible occurrences, you must know various routes and have a survival box for your safety destination if an emergency evacuation is issued.

What are the causes of Wildfire?

Wildfire is a natural part of the ecosystem of many areas, but it can be destructive to property and dangerous to human life. Some of the most common causes of WildfireWildfire are lightning, campfires, discarded smoking materials, and arson. 

Here is a list of some of the most common causes of Wildfire.

There's the notion that fire is a destructive force for most of us — and it is. But for some people, fire is an essential element of life — and an essential tool for maintaining the balance of the natural world. In this section, we discuss some of the most common causes and risk factors for Wildfire. We also look at how communities can help prevent wildfires by getting involved in fire management, education programs, and dedicated fire crews and teams. The causes of wildfires are typically classified as either naturally occurring or human-caused. 

However, roughly 85 to 90% of wildfires in the United States are caused by humans, only about 10-15% are started by lightning. Wildfires commonly occur during extreme periods of high temperatures exceeding 100 °F (38 °C), accompanied by dry weather. The National Park Service Geologic Division estimates that 90% of wildland fires are human-caused and that the leading cause of wildfires each year is humans failing to extinguish campfires completely. Wildfires occur when these 3 elements come together in a specific combination and ignite. A single cause will only create a fire on occasion. Most fires result from multiple causes and conditions coming together in the same place at the same time.

1. Heat

Embers are the No. 1 cause of wildfires. They can be created from various heat sources, such as cigarettes, campfires, debris burning, vehicle fires, power equipment, or even dropping something hot—like a metal jar from a boat.


The most common human-caused ember sources are arson, campfires, cooking fires, flares, fireworks, spontaneous combustion, utility malfunctions, and vehicle fires. These are sometimes also referred to as "human-caused wildland fires."

2. Fuel

California is often under siege from wildfires, driven by the arid climate and bone-dry vegetation. With extreme dryness and abundant vegetation, fuel is readily available. 


Unlike most states, California's population density and the state's Mediterranean climate (warm/dry summers and mild, wet winters) increase the fire risk. Recent rains have put this season's wildfires on pause. But as the temperatures rise, vegetation will dry out and become fuel for flames once again.

3. Oxygen

Unless you're a firefighter or weather forecaster, odds are you don't know too much about Santa Ana winds. Fortunately, you don't need to be an expert to know how bad they can be. 


The reliable winds provide fire danger ratings that allow residents of Southern California to understand the magnitude of the threat. It is these winds that led researchers to discover the fire danger rating system. If you are not familiar with the California Diablo Winds, it is essential to understand what the climate in California is like. These winds can range from 45-50 mph on average, up to over 73 mph. 

4. Burning Debris

When dead vegetation burns, the embers it forms can easily escape from the fire and carry for miles before they extinguish. If carried by strong winds, these glowing bits of fire can be responsible for starting a range of dangerous wildfires.


Burning Debris can be used personally to determine if a controlled burn is safe or on a large scale to monitor for escaped embers during wildfires.

5. Unattended Campfires

With the risks associated with campfires, you must follow basic rules for a safe camping experience. On average, nearly 50 percent of first-response personnel have to be diverted from actual firefighting duties to manage campfires left unattended. 


The cost is much higher when you factor in the effects of lost wildlife and natural resources. We need to act today to prevent another Ham Lake Fire from happening in our backyards.

6. Electrical Power

It is possible that a falling power line will not strike an individual, but it is also possible that it could. In a worst-case scenario, falling power lines cause over 50% of all wildfires. 


In the aftermath of a significant storm, old auxiliary power connections are especially vulnerable to damage causing up to 8,000 fires per year in storm-affected regions. When U.S. power lines are knocked down by the wind, rain, or other weather conditions, they can cause wildfires. Inspecting your power lines and utility lines in nearby neighborhoods is critical to avoid wildfires breaking out close to your home.

7. Discarded Cigarettes

Discarded cigarettes have been blamed for thousands of wildfires across the country each year. Unfortunately, many states do not have laws against this careless act. Discarded cigarettes cause more than $6 billion in property damage every year. 


Put your cigarette butts in an ashtray or portable ashtray to stay out of the way when you're you're outside smoking. Cigarettes are the leading cause of wildfires in the USA due to their improper disposal.

8. Equipment malfunctions

Sparks caused the Zaca Fire and several other recent large wildfires in California, from metal grinders to sharpen hoes and shovels. Metal grinders can throw off sparks a reasonable distance from the grinding area, causing the fire to spread quickly. Equipment malfunction causes accidents and injuries. Correct usage of machinery can prevent injury and death due to equipment malfunctions.

9. Vehicle Crashes and Engine Sparks

Wildfire is a prevalent issue caused by faulty rims on trailers. A spark from such an incident can easily ignite the dry grass, and many find themselves in fear of losing their homes to this raging inferno that seems unstoppable.

10. Lightning

Lightning can strike the Earth in many ways, but one way is to contact the ground.  When lightning strikes at or near a forest from several miles away, and all its voltage spreads out across dry plant matter on the surface because of capacitance, this will create an explosion that could send trees up into flames anywhere around there's no protection like water nearby. 


The leading causes of wildland fires differ from location to location. Detailed information on key risks in your region is often available through your state fire service. 

The Effects Of Wildfire

The Effects of wildfires are more than just destruction. When a wildfire destroys precious ecosystems, it's often impossible to restore them to their original state because so many animals and insects die off in these natural disasters. It can take decades for an ecosystem's biodiversity levels to return close enough to what they were before the damage occurred, if ever at all!

Wildfire effects on Human

Losing your home is bad enough. But losing it in a wildfire? The explosion of flames and smoke, the relentless heat scorching everything that once mattered to you—it's more than anyone should have to bear. Sadly, this type of destruction is all too common: wildfires are among the most expensive natural disasters today! 

Wildfire effects on Economy

The effects of wildfires on the Economy are so far-reaching that it's difficult to know where one should start. The economic consequences can be felt in four ways: property, insurance rates and claims, tourism costs for those who want to visit affected areas like resorts or national parks for recreation purposes, and finally, jobs as people seek out employment opportunities elsewhere after their homes have been destroyed by fires.

The Importance of a forest to the environment

The beauty and symbiotic relationship of the forest are more than just a pretty face. Forests provide an invaluable service to all living creatures, supporting life in many ways; they recycle air particles, regulate temperature extremes between day and night. Cycles by storing heat during the daytime hours for release at dawn or dusk; serve as natural water filters removing toxins from runoff preventing them from entering waterways, thereby making these sources clean again.

Act as carbon sinks absorbing twice their weight in CO2 emissions each year through photosynthesis which is then stored indefinitely within trees' cellulose cells until those cells eventually decompose, releasing that trapped gas back into our atmosphere - but it's not over yet! The list goes on, with forests being home to most terrestrial. As the air temperature increases, forest cover decreases. As we all know, trees play a crucial role in maintaining clean and healthy environments because they provide shade from extreme heat and shield people against harmful U.V. radiation

With temperatures on the rise due to climate change, there is an increased risk of wildfires, leading to erosion that destroys forests and vegetation surrounding them for miles around, causing irreversible damage not only environmentally. But also economically with impacts such high costs incurred by insurance companies like Allstate who must pay out over $100 billion every year based on claims filed according to Forbes magazine. The effects are seen most prominently across rural areas where properties cannot be insured or taxed without forestry protection; this poses problems when it comes time for owners who want to sell their

How can you Prepare for a Wildfire?

You've heard about how fires have broken out in California. There has never seemed to be a reason why these blazes happen, but they are finally starting to make sense with a little bit of research! It's essential that no matter where we live and work, preparation should always be considered for any natural disaster. We all know what it feels like when your home is on fire, so get ready before this happens by ensuring you're prepared now if there were ever an emergency at your place! 

You won't want anyone else worrying about their house while yours burns down because chances are, people will forget pretty quickly once someone else starts burning and who knows- maybe next time. Every preparation starts with creating a plan of where to go and being ready for an earlier response to any wildfire emergency effectively. 

Also, having the assurance your home is duly secure with insurance is of Importance. How can you prepare for a wildfire is stationed on these top tips of wildfire preparedness as follows; Be on alert by listening to local area news through radio or watching television for updates on the latest wildfire information. Securing a map to track current fires and know safe open centers on or before evacuation notice from authorities. Having a Monthly themed survival box that contains items or stuff to survive with during the disasters.

In summary, you can extend doing the Emergency Preparedness strategy that entails;

  • Maintaining 100 feet or more defensible space around the home.
  • Protect home with ember-resident building materials.
  • Get an emergency supply kit or survival box.
  • Develop an action plan that curtails the survival destination and communication process.
  • Pack other things that are needful and keep them nearby.
  • Go immediately on receiving evacuation notice.

How to Prepare for Forest Fires?

A forest fire can start anywhere, with little or no warning, and spread quickly. If you are unprepared for a wildfire that starts near your home or refuge, escape will be difficult or impossible. Learn how to be prepared and how to stay safe if a fire threatens your home or property. Before thinking about how to prepare for a wildfire evacuation, get to take these proactive steps first in keeping your home or family safe. Safeguard valuable documents in a fire-resistant store or safety box and get a backup generator in a critical situation where the electrical power supply needs to be off.

Install smoke detectors, fire extinguishers, and fire-resistant window treatments around your home. Keep firefighting tools like a ladder, water buckets, or hosts ready for your home structures when in contact with fire. Ensure the grasses are low and maintain adequately watered ground while pruning flammable vegetations.

Finally, create defensible space to cause fire breaks around your environment and give considerations for escape or fireguard to intercede in critical cases. Carrying out these assignments guarantee safety as you make wildfire preparedness by properly establishing a strategic plan and executing it promptly once local authorities issue an order for emergency evacuation.

How to prepare for a wildfire evacuation?

Wildfires are unpredictable and can move faster than ever imagined. Therefore, evacuation is the only choice in extreme cases now that having a review of your evacuation plan checklist is necessary to ensure you aren't missing anything and everything is still intact as of the time you made the draft. Then, ensure your kit or Emergency Preparedness survival box is in the vehicle with a screen whirled up and cover yourself and family members against heat or flying embers.

Remember to keep interior and exterior home lights on, take in any flammable materials around the environment inside the house center, make provision for water outrage and keep safety ladders outside for firefighter intervention. Finally, monitor conditions, review the emergency plan once again, shut off windows and doors properly, get into the vehicle and ensure everyone is inside before you move for the survival destination.

Probably, there is a whole lot to do when disasters occur that you might likely be forgetting important stuff. 


Think about the power of lightning and how it strikes Earth 100,000 times a day.  Of these, 10-20% cause fires, so unnatural causes are the biggest reason for wildfires in America; more than four out of five start careless actions like arson or carelessness (like smoking in forested areas). An average of 1.2 million acres burn every year due to people misusing fire!

Why not make your plans? Why do we take off the stress by preparing you an Emergency Preparedness Survival Box for surviving any disaster?

Wildfires are part of life's eventualities but, the Survival box monthly subscription would always get you covered!