Two big wildfires hit Colorado last summer. Kaitlyn Krason, 12, lives about 60 miles away from where the fires burned. She watched the fires on the news. "It was upsetting, seeing houses in flames," she told TFK.
Wildfires happen every year across the United States. They burn when plants are driest. In the western states, that is usually in the summer. Florida, New Mexico and Texas sometimes even have wildfires in the winter. Colorado's wildfires were destructive. They burned near people's homes.
For a wildfire to start, it needs oxygen, heat and fuel. Fuel can be dried grass and trees. Heat can come from campfires or fireworks. Lightning can also start a fire. Dry air, high heat and hot winds can help fire spread.
Edward Delgado leads a group of fire weather experts. "We forecast when and where there will be a high risk of fires," he says.
The experts can also say how big the fires may become. They can tell how weather might affect the fires. This information is important to firefighters. They use it to plan how best to put out a fire and how people can stay safe.
Wildfires are a natural part of forest life. Fires clear dead trees and make way for new growth. "Some trees need fire to open their seedpods so that new trees can grow," Delgado says.
For safety tips, visit timeforkids.com/fires.