Right now there are many wildfires burning here in the Cowboy State. We are not unfamiliar to wildfire seasons, but here are five interesting facts many do not know about wildfires in Wyoming.

1. Despite the public perception a fire is devastating to animals, generally they kill and injure a relatively small percent of populations. Large mammals have instinct to leave habitats before threatened. They can be, however, stressed by the change of scenery. This explains the urban sighting of a mountain lion looking a bit irritated.

2. While its true most wildlife survive, fish can die. In limited instances where heat is close enough to bodies of water, the H2o loses its o - oxygen. If water levels are reduced when used to fight a fire, the problem is made only worse.

3. Some fires are left to burn in unpopulated areas where there is “beetle kill,” which just increases the chance of wildfire. Beaver Creek’s fire was one, but it since spread to areas where man made structures were (are) threatened.

4. Wildfires may be caused by lightning strikes and other natural occurrences, but estimations are that over 80 percent are direct results of human error. Campfires and cigarettes are still all too common.

5. Firefighters have different classifications of wildfires, but a “Tornado Fire” often can’t even be fought. They’re rare, but occur in fires that were on track to be contained. Super heated, dry air near the ground breaks through layers to shoot upward, at speeds up to 90 mph. Their wind directions are almost impossible to predict.