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Each year hundreds of homes and structures are threatened, and dozens are damaged or destroyed by wildfires. Wildfires occur in every month in Maryland, but peak in the spring and fall.
During these seasons the leaves are off the deciduous trees, allowing sunlight and wind to reach the forest floor and dry the forest fuels. The relative humidity of the air is also drier and, combined with a breeze, creates the conditions for wildfires to spread rapidly. Other causes include: equipment use, children playing with fire, smoking, campfires, railroads, and other miscellaneous ignitions from sources such as downed power lines, discarded ashes, and fireworks.
A wildfire is an even greater challenge when it threatens homes and other structures. The number of homes built in the WUI in Maryland has increased dramatically in recent years.
Considering all factors, wildfires can be a significant threat in Maryland. Homes and other structures intermixed with wildland fuels are at risk, and WUI residents need to take actions to protect themselves and their property.
Most wildfires in Maryland are surface fires, which burn fallen leaves, twigs, and debris on the ground. These duff fires can burn for weeks, or even months, and cause smoke issues. The intensity of wildfires increases greatly in areas of dense fine fuels, such as grasses, or dense resinous fuels, such as mountain laurel shrubs or evergreen trees. In these areas, wildfires can spread rapidly and burn with amazingintensity.
This year's wildfire season in California could be worse than last year's, officials warn
Maryland rarely experiences active crown fires - wildfires that burn in the tree canopy. However, crown fires can occur in dense stands of evergreen trees during times of very dry and windy weather. Officials are hopeful expected cooler weather will help stifle the fire. Like the hurricane season, the wildfire season has been relatively sedate until recently.
Wildfire season peaked last November, though, so the arrival of Tenaja and quick spread of Red Bank are warnings to residents to not become complacent. Choose Your Region:. All Rights Reserved. Fortune may receive compensation for some links to products and services on this website. Offers may be subject to change without notice.
Fuel surplus could cause another destructive wildfire season
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