A wildfire is a fire over an area that usually spreads easily and difficult to extinguish. It often occurs in the countryside or areas where there are plants that are easily ignited. An example of a wildfire is a forest fire. A forest fire is a wildfire that burns forest or woodland. It is often difficult to control since it is usually large and may take time to extinguish. Thus, massive destruction in the environment is expected after a forest fire.
Natural causes of forest fires and other wildfires are lightning, volcanic eruption, and spontaneous combustion. Fires that are caused directly by human activities include arson, machinery sparks, and cast-away cigarette butts. Wildfires may also be initiated as a means to clear the land quickly for agriculture and land conversion purposes. Wildfires, such as forest fires, occur when the three elements of fire are present: heat, fuel, and an oxidizing agent (usually oxygen). Dense forests are relatively less prone to wildfires compared to grass fires since dense forests typically have lower ambient temperatures.
Forest fires may cause ecological disturbances. The trees that serve as sources of food and shelter for a number of animals in the wild are lost. Forest fires are an example of events that could lead to secondary ecological succession wherein new dominating species will inhabit and replace the previous community of plants and animals.