It finally happens; the disaster you’ve been waiting for… you’ve got to grab your family and your bug out bag and get out. You’ll be safe once you make it to the woods. Nobody will be able to find you, and you’ll be able to make it to that broken-down cabin you spotted. A little work and it will be as good as new. The main thing is that you’re safe.
Then you see it. High up on the ridge opposite you, you see a forest fire. Now the woods aren’t safe anymore. In fact, they’ve turned into a death trap. Can you survive?
Every year, literally thousands of forest fires burn millions of acres of forest; at times, trapping and killing people whose only crime was to be in the wrong place at the wrong time. They got in the path of that wildfire and they couldn’t find a way out.
Dangers from a Forest Fire
Forest fires aren’t limited to only one way of killing you, they actually have several. If one way doesn’t get you out, another could. In most cases, it’s actually a combination of these different dangers that kill people. For example, they could pass out from lack of oxygen and then be burned to death while unconscious.
A forest fire can create temperatures in excess of 1000° F. That temperature is sufficient to burn the skin, without contact, cause severe dehydration and induce heatstroke (damaging organs). Loss of water from the body can bring on heart attacks. Lungs can become scorched by the high temperature, keeping them from absorbing life-giving oxygen.
The burning of the fire produces smoke, which is a combination of carbon dioxide and ash. The ash can clog the lungs, burning the tissue as well. Carbon dioxide prevents absorption of oxygen into the lungs, leaving the body without oxygen. This affects the brain, more than any other part of the body.
Finally, the fire itself can burn the body, destroying cells and killing the individual. Usually, before that happens, the person is either dead due to smoke inhalation or has passed out due to the high temperature. If anything, that would probably be a mercy over being burned to death.
Plan A – Get out of there
The best thing to do is avoid the fire all together, getting out of there as fast as possible. As soon as you have warning about the fire, you should start moving, …