The Environmental Impact of Wildfires - WBM Foundation

The Environmental Impact of Wildfires

The Environmental Impact of Wildfires

With merely 9 years remaining to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), the world is ringing for faster action. Global warming however is escalating the risk of climate change that has been a crucial reason for the increased extent of wildfires throughout the world. Besides climate change, the probability of wildfires occurrence depends on many factors including soil moisture level, temperature range, presence of trees, shrubs, and other fuel materials. All of these factors have a clear correlation with climate change. Climate change increases the drying of forest’s organic matter that is the substance that flames up and expands fires.

As stated by World Health Organization, between 1998-2017, 6.2 million people were affected by volcanic eruptions and wildfires including 2400 fatalities from injuries, suffocation, and burns. These values are increasing continuously due to climate change. The hot and dry weather conditions are elevating the risk of wildfires. Wildfires are a major source of air pollution that adds tons of CO2, CO, and respirable particulate matter (PM) into the atmosphere. This triggers a wide range of health-related issues, mainly including respiratory and cardiovascular ailments. Another considerable heath effect of wildfires is psychological.

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