August 31st, 2009
05:03 PM ET

The science of fires: How wildfires spread

[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2009/images/08/31/art.graphic.fire.jpg]


Fueled by summer's dry conditions, millions of acres of America's forests burn each year. Take a look at this interactive to see how fires spread and the tools and techniques that are used to fight them.

Find the interactive here...

Filed under: 360° Radar • Wildfires
soundoff (8 Responses)
  1. Doris E. Morlachetta

    Dear Anderson,
    Seems like it's worth a try – tell me what you think of my idea?
    Please explain to me why they can't seed the clouds in Los Angeles
    to make it rain. I know teachers use to talk about it all the time when I
    went to school – granted it was a long time ago but surely they still have that capability. Wouldn't it be more cost affective to do that while waiting & fighting a hopeless battle. That rain would put all the dust & pulluttion on the road where it belongs. It's up to you Anderson to tell them what they need to to get it done. Please do it, they won't listen to me. Its worth a shot. I will be praying for you. God Bless you!
    With Love & Prayers,
    Doris E. Morlachetta

    September 1, 2009 at 12:29 am |
  2. Kenneth A. Maxey

    As a veteran firefighter I suggest Californians prevent these firestorms by taking away the fuel every few years by the use of prescribed control burns whe the conditions let small areas burn and alternate them with the areas adjacent areas the next time and never let them grow to firestorm conditions again. Remember " Only You Can Prevent Forest Fires".

    August 31, 2009 at 10:45 pm |
  3. Annie Kate

    Great interactive and photos of fire. Looks really bad out there – I hope they get the fire contained soon. All the people that are being evacuated I'm sure are anxious about what it will be like when they can go back.

    August 31, 2009 at 7:58 pm |
  4. VPCAM

    My comment concerns why nothing is done to prevent the fire. The southern California fires like Thanks Giving only in November and Christmas only at the end of the year in December. Whatever little rain we get flows down the hills and is wasted, causing the vegetation to dry up by September and become fuel for the fire. If we create ponds on the slope of the hills (use dynamite to create several ponds), water will accumulate in these little ponds and help keep the vegetation green all year round. I recommended this idea to the state governor, but I never heard a word from his office. I am convinced that these fires are not accidental in origin; they are planned because there is an industry that thrives on these fires. It is utter shame!

    August 31, 2009 at 7:37 pm |
  5. April

    Why dont they put in under ground water sprinklers in the know areas of the fires it would save so many homes and animals.

    August 31, 2009 at 7:14 pm |
  6. Sabrina in Los Angeles

    Clearing brush is a good start.

    This ridge is right north of us and I don't remember it burning in the 20 plus years that we have owned this house.

    I am worried about the bears, racoons, opossums, coyotes, etc that will be displaced and come down..driven out of their homes.

    August 31, 2009 at 6:57 pm |
  7. Joe G. (Illinois)

    People unemployed.. Ever heard of water lines..? The science and technology is there! If it were about crude oil those topographies be filled oil lines going up, down, crossways. But people don’t want to complain to Borak because..

    August 31, 2009 at 5:34 pm |
  8. Eugenia - San Francisco

    The live feed of the fire is sobering,

    August 31, 2009 at 5:33 pm |