High Fire Risk!
It’s 4th of July weekend which means… FIREWORKS! Now some of you may be noticing that firework restrictions have been strictly enforced this year. Even going down the highway you see signs that say “High fire risk, use extreme caution.” As you may have heard this year’s 4th of July is being reduced because of all this heat we have been having but what makes a high fire risk? Well if you look at the science behind combustion it makes sense.
First, fire needs three things to work. Fire needs fuel, oxygen, and a spark. This year’s intense heat and lack of rain has actually given us two of those three things. Put in the fireworks and you have all three things to have a blazing fire!
The intense heat is not the culprit for our extreme fire risk. Although it may be contributing to the lack of rain, it is the dry conditions that are putting a damper on our patriotic fun! As I mentioned, fire needs a fuel or something to burn to catch. Since it hasn’t rained recently you may notice a lot of plants drying out and turning brown. These brown plants burn REALLY easy because there is very little sap or water inside of them.
Ok we got our fuel from dried plants, where does the oxygen come from? Well there is oxygen everywhere but what really hurts our fireworks extravaganza shows is the wind. The wind will actually blow oxygen into a fire which can turn small embers into a flame and then on top of that the flame gets blown all over the place and turns into a huge problem! This is why the wild fires in Colorado are so bad right now. It’s dry, no water and lots of wind to spread the fire.
When you add a nation full of fireworks, we are looking for trouble. Fireworks, as their name suggests, use and shoot out a lot of fire. It only takes one spark to start a fire given the right conditions. Given our recent weather, the right conditions could be your front yard.
So if you have the privilege to shoot off your own fireworks, be careful! Always have a water source close by just in case, an adult even closer and HAPPY 4TH OF JULY!