Coping with Wildfires

By Frankie Snow

From PHN Issue 44, Fall 2020

While coping with multiple crises, many communities this year have also had to navigate wildfires threatening their safety. Wildfires occur when there is a large fire that spreads across forests, grasslands, or brush. Their spread can also impact towns and cities nearby. Wildfires can be caused by lightning or by accidents from campfires, fireworks, or electrical failures. Small fires can be a natural part of the life cycle for forests, and indigenous communities have practiced controlled burning to encourage new growth in forests for ages. Wildfires have become more prevalent and destructive due to droughts and warmer temperatures from climate change. In the western United States, residents in California, Washington, Oregon, and Colorado have had to evacuate or shelter from smoke due to a number of uncontrolled wildfires.

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