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  • Writer's pictureWildfire Aware

The Real Culprit Behind Wildfires: Lightning and Wind

Each year, wildfires spread across the United States, burning thousands of acres of land and causing destruction in their wake. Between 2017 and 2021, 52% of acres burned by wildfires were caused by lightning strikes. While lightning may be an expected part of summer storms in many parts of the country, it can also be a very dangerous phenomenon - especially when combined with strong winds from thunderstorms.

What Makes Thunderstorms So Dangerous?

Thunderstorms can be incredibly dangerous as they are often accompanied by strong winds that can quickly cause smoldering organic material to turn into raging fires. These wind patterns tend to be erratic in both direction and speed; this makes them difficult to predict or manage. Additionally, thunderstorm winds can reach speeds of up to 100mph, making them more than capable of carrying embers far away from the original fire source and starting new fires in its wake - which is why lightning-caused wildfires are so hard to contain.

How Can We Better Prepare for Thunderstorms?

The best way to prepare for thunderstorms is to ensure that your property is being managed properly. This means creating defensible space around your home or business by clearing out any dry vegetation or brush that could easily ignite due to wind gusts from a thunderstorm. Additionally, keeping gutters clear of debris or overhanging branches will help keep your property safe from possible fire sources if a storm does hit your area. Furthermore, having a plan for how you will evacuate your family or staff should a wildfire get too close for comfort is always advised as well.

Lightning-caused wildfires have been responsible for burning thousands of acres between 2017 and 2021 alone - but with proper preparation you can help protect yourself and your property against the dangers posed by thunderstorms. By creating defensible space around your home or business and having an evacuation plan ready just in case, you can give yourself peace of mind knowing that you’re doing all you can to minimize the risks associated with these powerful storms.

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