Asked in Florida
Do muck fires just happen in Florida?
What is a muck fire and how do muck fires get started?
Asked in Science
What is the difference between muck fires and regular fires?
Asked in Animal Life, Earth Sciences
Does central Florida have muck fires?
Yes. Anywhere there is a swamp. Underground fires or "Muck" ignites from burning brush above and from lightning strikes. Enough oxygen penetrates the parched, loosely packed peat moss, causing underground embers to smolder for weeks. The muck can cook and kill roots, causing trees to topple. After their leaves dry out, they kindle more brush fires. Organic muck is soil rich in carbon-based compounds from dead plants and organisms.
What muck fires?
Muck fires are fires that burn underground. They are started (usually in late winter/early spring in Florida) when buried decomposing vegetation spontaneously combusts or is ignited by lightning strikes. This happens during the dry season as the vegetation begins to dry out. Because heat is not transferred well in these conditions, areas that are still moist will produce heat from the process of decomposition. The heat accumulates to the point where it can ignite dryer material adjacent to the area of decomposition. These fires can burn for weeks, and are extremely hard to extinguish. Most of the time they don't cause any problems, but occasionally the work their way to the surface, and can ignite material above the ground. But the majority of them just smolder under ground, and create a horrible odor that lasts for weeks. Muck fires are underground fires under a layer of duff in marshy areas. Muck fires are started when lightning strikes the ground and starts to burn.