En-en adult card 35 forest fires

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Card #35: Forest Fires

Causes Consequences
Front of the card "Forest Fires" No direct consequences.

Forest fires start more easily during droughts and heat waves.




No direct consequences.

Other possible links

Other consequences

  • Deforestation Deforestation is partly done by burning the forest, which can then degenerate into uncontrolled fire. This is what happened in the summer of 2019 in the Amazon and Australia.
  • Aerosols Smoke from wildfires has been shown to carry toxic particles.
  • Terrestrial biodiversity This is a more minor link, except for specific biodiversity-rich areas.
  • Decline of agricultural yields Generally forests burn better than wheat fields.
  • Human health 630 people died in Californian wildfires in autumn 2018.

To go further


A Mega-fire is an exceptionally large fire, causing large local fires that devastate expansive areas, without this appellation corresponding to a very precise scientific definition. We usually speak of a mega-fire when the affected area is at least 1,000 to 10,000 hectares. Mega-fires account for only 3% of all fires, yet represent 50% of global losses[1]. 96% of the last 500 mega-fires in the last 10 years took place during a period of abnormally high heat and/or drought[2].

Examples of events

In 2018, in California, 1,975,086 acres (799,200 hectares, about the size of Corsica) were burned, for a total of 8,000 fires and 100 casualties, but the burned area doubled in 2020 to reach 1,635,300 hectares (larger than Ile-De-France: the greater Paris area)[3].

In the 2019-2020 season, Australia saw a total area of 17 million hectares go up in smoke[4]. This surface area represents a third of France.

Forest fires on Mount Kilimanjaro on the rise[5].

Forest fires on the rise in Portugal and Greece[6]


Fire the Earth, on the mega-fires (French)