28 June 2011
Posted in WFTV Severe Weather Center 9
The following is the second of a three part series on wildfires...
High winds only serve to exacerbate the problem of wildfires due to its unpredictability and the fact that wind supplies oxygen to fuel the fire, further dry the fuels and push the fire to spread across greater distances. Did you know that wildfires alone can produce winds that are ten times stronger than the winds surrounding them? For this reason, fires are a formidable force.
Not only do high winds promote fire growth, the presence of a fire can actually increase wind speeds. These winds can throw embers into the air and spread them causing “spotting.” Not only that, but strong gusts can hurl the embers into tree tops creating a “crown fire.” For example, the Las Conchas wildfire in New Mexico is currently running, crowning and spotting up to a half mile from the head of the fire.
Here's a look at the Las Conchas fire from KRQE in New Mexico: