A Forest fire is a moving combustion reaction, spreading outwards in a band from its ignition point, leaving burned out forest behind it..It refers to the uncontrolled fire that erupts in the wilderness. Other names such as brush fire, bush fire, forest fire, grass fire, hill fire, peat fire, vegetation fire, and wildland fire may be used to describe the same phenomenon depending on the type of vegetation being burned.
Fire in the forest is a destructive process. It can occur in both temperate and tropical forests. Fire can be due to the lightening,volcanic eruptions or the carelessness of human beings. Nearly 90 percent of the forest fires are caused because of human beings.See this article from Let us find out
 Natural causes of Forest Fire
- Forests Fire can occur due to lightening which burns the trees.
- Earthquake,volcanoes and drought is also responsible for the forest fires.
- High temperature and low humidity (dryness) provides favorable conditions to the fire and hence it can start in forests.
- Global warming can be responsible for increasing the frequency of forest fires.
 Man made causes of Forest Fire
- The most common cause for the forest Fire is the negligence of the people. Any source of ignition like cigarette, naked fire which when comes in contact with inflammable things causes fire.
- Tourists, picnickers sometimes throw the lighted items in the bushes around or on the ground which causes fire
- Fire lighted by cultivators to burn a patch of forest can go out of control and burning more trees than required.
 Effects of Forest Fire
Forest fires can affect climate and weather a great deal, besides causing severe damage to valuable trees. It can increase the level of greenhouse gases (water vapor, carbon dioxide, methane, nitrous oxide, ozone, and chlorofluorocarbons), and thereby increase pollution and global warming. However, it is an important part of the ecosystem, and many plants depend on it for growth and reproduction. But, too much of wildfires can cause significant damage to the ecosystem.Fire effects are the result of an interaction between the heat regime created by fire and ecosystem properties.There are physical, chemical, and biological impacts of fire on ecosystem resources and the environment.
 Abiotic Effects of Fire
 Fire Effects on Air Qualityhealth.Emissions from forest fires can travel large distances, affecting air quality and human health far from the originating fires. These emissions include particulate matter,carbon monoxide, atmospheric mercury,ozone-forming chemicals,volatile organic compounds.Health effects from air pollution can last for a short while (e.g., coughing) or become chronic (e.g., heart and lung disease).
 Fire Effects on Water Quality
Forest fire harms the water bodies making it fouled streams, changes the taste of water and also increase the growth of bacteria and pathogens in water.The effectsof fire on aquatic ecosystems can be divided into direct and indirect effects. Direct effects may include increases in temperature, ash, nutrients, and charcoal. The indirect effects of fire may include increases in sediment deposition and turbidity, and alterations channel morphology.There are many people and animals die everyday from fires big or small. 100% of fires are started by a flame.
 Fire Effects on Soil
Fires affect physical, chemical, and biological soil properties directly by transferring heat into soil.Fire's most significant indirect effects on soil are caused by the alteration of standing vegetation and the consumption of organic matter within and beneath the forest floor.High severity burn areas experience higher rates of soil loss from erosion increased peak flows of runoff, greater duff reduction, loss in soil nutrients and soil heating.
 Biotic Effects of Fire
Biotic effects of fire include altering vegetation and related impacts on wildlife.
 Fire Effects on Plants
Fires affect plants directly, by injury and mortality, and indirectly, by changing resource availability.Fire can cause dramatic and immediate changes in vegetation, eliminating some species or causing others to appear where they were not present before the fire. While many trees are killed by total defoliation following a fire, some can re-sprout from epicormic buds, which are buds positioned beneath the bark.
 Fire Effects on AnimalsThe most direct effects of fire on animals are habitat changes caused by fire influence faunal populations and communities much more profoundly than fire itself. Fires often cause a short-term increase in productivity, availability, or nutrient content of wildlife foods. These short-term increases in wildlife foods, in turn, contribute to increases in populations of some animals. These increases are moderated by the animals’ ability to thrive in the altered, often simplified, structure of the postfire environment.
 Types of Forest Firefuels.There are three different types of wildland fires, each with varying intensity.
 Ground FiresGround fires burn on the ground or below ground vegetation.These are normally caused by lightning and burn on the forest floor in the humus layer (the dead organic matter on the floor such as leaves) down to the forest's soil.They are best controlled by digging trenches or "firelines" down into the mineral soil layer, which cannot burn. When the fire reaches the fireline, it is starved of fuel and extinquishes itself.
 Surface FiresSurface fire is the most common type of forest fire and burns along the forest floor and tend to move quicker.It require more manpower and equipment. Portable water backpacks and pumps (where a water supply is available), and firebreaks are the preferred methods. These can be very labour-intesive methods except in instances where machinery is available to clear bush for the firebreaks.
 Crown Fires
Crown fires are most dangerous and spread the fastest. They occur in the tops of the trees where fire can "jump" from crown to crown, often jumping over firebreaks. Crown fires in extremely windy conditions have been known to jump rivers and even lakes.Fighting crown fires usually calls for extreme measures, generally calling for aerial bombing with water or fire retardant chemical.
 Preventive MeasuresToo much of wildfires can cause significant damage to the ecosystem.So we must take necessary preventive measures to avoid such losses.Fire prevention measures include the prevention before a fire breaks out and the measures for reducing the damage of a forest fire after it breaks out.
- Periodic burning of vegetation can also be helpful in maintaining diversity of species. This would also be effective in regulating the amount of surface fuel, which in turn would prevent the spread of a forest fire to a vast area.
- Humans are responsible for most forest fires and thus the first step in prevention should be informing, educating and mobilizing citizens about the risks of forest fires. Education should begin at school and continued with several campaigns, seminars, information brochures, tv-shows and commercial spots in the media.
- There should be proper statistics that predict the probability of fire in certain areas helping in the immediate response.
- Strategically placed watchtowers for the purpose of detecting fires.
- In case of fire they are used to provide immediate water.
- Wireless communication between the Forestry Department and the workers of Forest inspection, that contribute in the prevention and extinguishment of fires.
- We human beings could also play an important role by behaving more responsibly and not leaving behind any source of ignition in the forest or woods that we visit.
Forest has been of great importance to mankind since prehistoric days.There is a huge economical value of forest in our lives.It makes our environment healthy and beautiful.In addition, the forest provides shelter for wildlife, recreation and aesthetic renewal for people, and irreplaceable supplies of oxygen and soil nutrients.We must do our every possible efforts to save forests from any hazards and try to make our environment healthy and green.