Why do wildfires start?

Every year, it feels like there is a rash of wildfires that makes the news. Those not in impacted areas are often shocked by how massive they are and how much ground they cover. And that’s just the major fires that get into the news cycle. There are plenty of smaller ones that the public at large does not ever hear about.

It’s often easy to see why these fires keep going. With their sheer size, they’re hard to contain. They may move through areas with a lot of dry wood and tinder. They’re often remote so that makes it difficult to get firefighters in position to slow them down. But why do they start in the first place?

What you’ll find is that there are many potential sources. Some include:

  • Defective or broken electrical lines
  • Campfires that campers neglected to put out
  • Lightning strikes in dense woods
  • Sparks from metal and mechanical equipment
  • House fires that got out of control

Human causes are the most common. That doesn’t always mean they’re easy to avoid, though. For instance, massive fires have started after a wheel’s rim hit the asphalt while a car was driving, sending a spark into the underbrush. That’s a human cause, for certain, but it’s also much different than someone setting a campfire in an area where they’re not supposed to or neglecting to throw away a cigarette butt properly.

No matter why a fire starts, the impact that it has on the local area and the people living there can be catastrophic. It is important for these individuals to know about all of the legal options that they have.