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Wildfires are becoming more of a problem than ever before, and experts have noticed worrying changes in the way they behave. In the last few years there have been reports about fires, from the unusual setting of the Arctic. Although fires burning in the permafrost of this region are not uncommon, their recent behaviour is alarming. Nicknamed ‘Zombie Fires’, these blazes are now burning areas of fire-resistant vegetation. International fire scientists warn that this has ‘strong consequences for the global climate’.
Apparently the 2020 Arctic wildfire season arrived about two months earlier than normal, and its scope was unprecedented. The vast scale of the fires was commented on by Dr. Merritt Turetsky, a permafrost ecologist at the University of Colorado Boulder. He said, “There are other trends we noticed in the satellite data that tell us how the Arctic fire regime is changing and what this spells for our climate future”.
Two new features of these Arctic zombie fires were identified, firstly, they saw much larger areas of holdover [or zombie] fires. These are fires from the previous season which have remained ignited and continued smouldering. This occurs over the winter in carbon rich peat which then reignites once the weather warms up again. The second feature of these devastating fires is the new occurrence of the problem in fire resistant landscapes. This is thought to be yet another consequence of global warming, which many fire fighting specialists are helping to tackle.
Companies such as the Laboratory of Expertise, Innovation & Analysis [LEIA] provide an innovative solution to all kinds of fires. They are based in the UK and are dedicated to developing fire fighting techniques, chemistry and equipment. Their team work alongside the fire fighting sector to test and analyse chemicals and equipment They also provide a vast amount of informed advice on all aspects of fire fighting chemicals, equipment and delivery. Their client base covers manufacturers in places like Europe, North Africa and Asia.