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The student news site of Colonia High School

The Declaration

The student news site of Colonia High School

The Declaration

Side effects of forest fires

Photo Credit: The Declaration Staff
Route 1 on Woodbridge gets covered in smoke after recent wild fire occur in Canada. New York City experiences worse air quality then the effects of 9/11.

A Forest Fire doesn’t need a lot to ignite being with just some dry fuel, air and heat one can erupt in a moment’s notice. 80% of them in the US alone are Man-made.

As of June  12, 2023 there are many forest fires across the US alone and the number is only increasing because of the lack of control we have.

Alaska – 1 fire, 0 acres

Montana – 4 fires, 3 acres

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Oregon – 10 fires, 2 acres

Arizona – 7 fires, 176 acres

Washington – 45 fires, 157 acres

New Mexico – 3 fires, 334 acres

Kansas – 3 fires, 808 acres

Missouri – 37 fires, 1,486 acres


The best way to control a forest fire is to remove one of the main 3 elements from them in order to try and prevent further spread.

Heat can be removed by applying water or fire retardant on the ground being with pumps or wildland fire engines. Firefighters also can do these tactics by air just in airplanes or helicopters.

Oxygen can be removed by covering the fire with mineral soils to prevent oxygen from igniting the fire more.

Fuel can be removed by constructing a fuel break ahead of the fire to remove the fuels to try and stop the spreads from occurring.

All of this is easier said than done though because a fire can spread much faster than the average student can react. Also it is hard to detect where one will begin because a forest can go from fine into erupting into flames.

Side effects from fires

According to the United States Environmental Protection Agency it states that “The effects of smoke from wildfires can range from eye and respiratory tract irritation to more serious disorders, including reduced lung function, bronchitis, exacerbation of asthma and heart failure, and premature death.”

With fires being so prevalent in America, it can make certain areas and states a health hazard such as the East Coast. But with the recent fires in Canada and the air moving here, it is entirely unsure the safest place to go is to be as far away from the disasters and keep your health as safe as possible.

A biology teacher from Colonia High School, Chantel Greffer says “The increase in forest fire frequency and intensity is concerning. Unfortunately, all too often, these fires occur in areas very close to homes that probably should not have been built there in the first place. Not only are people’s homes being destroyed, but the homes of a wide range of other organisms are as well. I think that the connections between global climate change and this change in forest fire frequency and intensity is clear. I am hopeful that we can make technology necessary to slow climate change and the existence of it.”

Side effects from history

Throughout US history and world history we have had many events that have affected the world long term and short term.

Colonia High School history teacher Richard Kondrk says it best by stating, “Wars have always played a role in the environment and the climate. The atomic bombs that were dropped during WWII still affect the Japanese environment to this day. We had no idea of the long lasting effects it would have on the future generations as far as the radiation is concerned. Technology in the future will probably prove to be even more damaging to the environment. We already have weapons much more powerful than we did in past wars which can be more devastating to the environment and the climate for years to come.”


Surprisingly there are a few positives which can come from a wildfire. Due to the increasing carbon dioxide it allows the trees to produce more oxygen and grow healthier. These fires also are a way to get rid of already dead vegetation. A wildfire can also stimulate new growth and generate new growth for a more diversity in light-loving plants and animals which can actually help the environment.

You may think they remove habitats by wiping the forest floor but they create new habitats and places which can be better suited for animals. The National Geographic Society has to say that “Many ecosystems benefit from periodic fires, because they clear out dead organic material—and some plant and animal populations require the benefits fire brings to survive and reproduce.”

Forest fires are a terrible occurrence but they shouldn’t be looked at as all bad for they have some things to come with them.

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About the Contributor
Elias Meli
Elias Meli, reporter
Elias Meli is a fifteen year old sophomore at colonia high school but you can also call him by his nickname Eli. He loves to create and try new things at home. He also enjoys doing helping and caring for others with fundraisers and charity work. He also has a great understanding on the mental health of others. He enjoys doing stuff like digital art and works as a better leader then a follower. Elias writes article’s that mainly appeals to older people but sometimes will have one’s towards teens. Overall he writes on what he believes rather then what others want out of him. 

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Side effects of forest fires