Forests that are characterized by dense vegetation have a greater chance of wildfire spreading through them due to the high amount of fuel present. Low-growing plants as well as fallen branches, leaves, and pine needles help a wildfire to spread to tall trees and move rapidly throughout a forest. Weather conditions like strong winds, high temperatures, and dry air can catalyze out-of-control wildfires. Additionally, wildfires can travel extra fast on steep slopes.
There are a few factors that contribute to the speed of a wildfire. The wind levels, vegetation levels and the terrain are the biggest factors in wildfire speed.
A steep hill will allow a wildfire to spread up the mountain much faster than flat ground or downhill will. As wind speeds wildfire speeds will also increase. This is because oxygen is a necessary component of combustion. Higher winds means more oxygen, which means bigger faster fires.
Vegetation will also be a factor. Tall dead grass will burn much faster than a green bushy or grassy area. Dryed or dead overgrown brush will also burn very fast.
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