Friday, 20 July 2012

Smouldering fire of organic soil in Oregon National Wildlife Refuge


The dry organic soil in Malheur National Wildlife Refuge has ignited and several smouldering hot spots have been burning since last week. They were started by the flaming Miller Homestead wildfire on the evening of July 12 but the smouldering fire is now slowly self-spreading.

Suppression attempts are under way by the Fire Service including local flooding and compartmentation. It is essential to act quickly. Under dry conditions as the ones currently present in Oregon, smouldering fires can last for months, releasing large quantities of old carbon stored in the soil.

Smouldering organic soil after the Miller Homestead Wildfire moved onto the refuge the evening of July 12. Photo Credit USFWS.