Spur Fire, NM Fire Info

The Fire Environment

("Living With Fire: A Guide for the Homeowner") 

Also known as the surrounding conditions, influences, and modifying forces that determine wildfire behavior. There are three components of the Fire Environment that Firefighters recognize: 1) weather; 2) topography; and 3) fuel. Each of these components affect the possibility of a fire starting, the speed and direction a wildfire will travel, the intensity at which a wildfire burns and the ability to control and extinguish a wildfire. Although weather and topography cannot be changed, the fuels (vegetation) can be. Therefore, many of our opportunities to reduce wildfire threat lie in the proper management and manipulation of wildland vegetation.

Weather:

Dry, hot, and windy weather increases the likelihood of a major wildfire. These conditions make ignition easier, allow fuels to burn more rapidly, and increase fire intensity. Keep in mind that high wind speeds can transform a small, easily controllable fire into a catastrophic event in a matter of minutes.

Topography:

Steepness of a slope most influences fire behavior. As the steepness of a slope increases, the fire spreads more quickly. Other important topographic factors include: aspect and steep, narrow drainages.

Fuel:

Fuel is required for any fire to burn. In relation to wildfires, fuels almost always consist of living vegetation (trees, grass, shrubs, and wildflowers) along with dead plant material. Houses, when involved in a wildfire, become a source of fuel. The amount, size, moisture content, arrangement and other fuel characteristics can influence ease of ignition, rate of fire spread, length of flames produced and other fire behaviors.

 

The Human Environment
("Living With Fire: A Guide for the Homeowner") 

When people are living in high-hazard fire environments, the human-built environment becomes an important factor in predicting the loss of life and property. Untreated wood shake and shingle roofs, narrow roads, limited access, lack of fire-wise landscaping, inadequate water supplies, and poorly planned subdivisions increase the risk to people living with the threat of wildfire.

 

Latest News

20 April 2017
20 April 2017
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