Wildfires can benefit the environment. They serve important ecosystem functions. Periodic burns can contribute to overall forest health. “Fires typically move through burning lower branches and clearing dead wood from the forest floor which kick-starts regeneration by providing ideal growing conditions.” It improves floor habitat for many species that prefer relatively open spaces. However, wildfires are also a threat to biodiversity and other natural systems. Deforestation – especially by fire – is also a key emitter of carbon dioxide.
Wildfires, which occur on every continent except Antarctica, are a natural part of the environment’s cycles. Plants in fire-prone areas can generally survive the fires. Aside from the natural wildfires that occur though, the effects can be very harmful to biodiversity.
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