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New surface fires from sub-surface fire propagation in peatlands

Surface fires burning in peatlands can transition to underground smouldering fires that can seem to self-extinguish only to reappear in another location, sometimes at a great distance from the originating fire. The primary combustion reaction is charring which is highly exothermic but does not require oxygen to sustain (Sullivan 2017). New fires can resurface anywhere from days to months after the original fire appears extinguished, even continuing to smoulder through the winter in the peat layer under layers of snow, leading to the name “zombie” or “ghost” fires.

Year: 2022

From collection: Spreading Like Wildfire: The Rising Threat of Extraordinary Landscape Fires

Cartographer: GRID-Arendal/Studio Atlantis

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