The Pros And Cons Of Wildfire
Several terminologies have been used worldwide to describe wildfire or forest fire (e.g. Hardy, 2005; Bento-Gonçalves et al., 2012; Eriksen and Prior, 2013; Mhawej et al., 2015). Generally in the United States, these definitions included prescribed fire - which is a controlled burn ignited by human under a controlled environment and on a limited spatial scale. However, in this chapter, we only focus on uncontrolled fire that occurs in the countryside or wildland.
Studies such as Kumagai et al. (2004), Lentile et al. (2006), Shafran (2008), Prato and Fagre (2008) and Pausas et al. (2009) announce that the wildfire is an essential natural process. Others – e.g. Prestemon and Butry (2005), Amatulli et al. (2006), Romero-Calcerrada et al. (2008), Martínez et al. (2009), Lui et al. (2010), Hurst (2015) – acclaim it is a human-induced phenomenon influencing significantly terrestrial, aquatic, and atmospheric systems throughout the world. Either way, the science behind wildfires has received momentous attention over the past few decades due to the wide range of ecological, economic, social, and political values at stake (Lentile et al., 2006; Mhawej et al., 2015). The study of these fires includes generally a broad spectrum of scientific disciplines, such as forestry, ecology, geology, atmospheric chemistry, mechanical engineering, geography, and economy to name just a few examples (Arroyo et al., 2008).
Actually, wildfires’ consequences could be visible at local scale (e.g.…