Difference Between Wildfire and Flood

Natural calamities are caused due to extreme climate or weather changes. Some of these calamities may be indirectly caused by human activities.

All these calamities have detrimental effects on humans and other living organisms. Some natural calamities leave a great impact that takes a few years to heal.

Tsunami, hurricanes, floods, volcanic eruptions, drought, wildfires, and earthquakes are some examples of natural calamities.

Wildfire vs Flood

The main difference between Wildfire and Flood is that wildfire may be caused by human activities or natural causes like lightning. While flood is caused by the extreme downpour.

Both wildfire and flood affect humans drastically. Wildfire is most common in forests while flood affects cities and towns.

Flood is very common in highly populated areas like big cities.

Wildfire vs Flood

Wildfire is common in grasslands and forests. They are caused during the hot summer months.

There are many causes for a wildfire. They can spread in a short time and cause greater destruction.

Fossil evidence indicates the presence of wildlife ever since prehistoric periods. It is believed that these wildfires have been the reason for the evolution of many organisms.

A flood is the entry of water into cities and living places of people. Floods are caused in countries with heavy rainfall like India, China, etc. It occurs during the monsoon season.

The water entering streets and houses cause a great nuisance to people. Flood destroys houses and roads.

Flood is made worse by human activities.

Comparison Table Between Wildfire and Flood

Parameters of Comparison Wildfire Flood
Element FireWater
CauseLightning, setting fields on fire, dry and hot climateHeavy rainfall, stagnation of water
EffectDamage to forest and wildlifeDestruction of buildings and interruption of transportation
Human health issuesRespiratory diseasesInfectious waterborne diseases
CountriesIt is common in Australia, North America, Canada, Siberia, etcIndia, China, Bangladesh, Vietnam, Nepal, Thailand, etc

What is Wildfire?

Wildfire is caused by natural or man-made causes. They are common in countries with hot and dry summers like Australia and North America.

Wildfires have proven to be of use in terms of evolution in the past.

But, they also have a greater ill effect on natural vegetation and animals. They are caused naturally by lightning, global warming, volcanic eruption, and summers.

Lightning striking trees during summers make them burn and the fire spread to the neighboring trees. Wildfire can also be caused by the friction of two tree branches.

When the branches come in contact, due to friction sparks develop, and thus wildfire spreads. Volcanic lava can set grasslands on fire.

Human activities like the farmers burning their fields to clear them, electric lines generating sparks, etc are also the causes. Wildfires spread rapidly, especially during dry weather.

They destroy all the vegetation and animals living there. But, plants in some areas that are prone to wildfires survive.

Trees like eucalyptus are good survivors of wildfires.

People are also affected by wildfires. When a wildfire crisis arises people from the neighboring areas are asked to evacuate and move to safe places.

Wildfires lead to an increase in carbon dioxide emissions and cause air pollution. People also develop respiratory and cardiovascular symptoms.

Silver iodide-induced snowing is employed in some countries to suppress the spread of wildfire.

What is Flood?

A flood is excessive water submerging an area. It usually occurs due to the overflowing of lakes, rivers, dams, etc.

This overflowing occurs commonly due to heavy rain. Here water gets accumulated in roads and disrupts the normal functioning of people.

The intensity of damage a flood can cause depends on the human activities in that area.

Deforestation and converting wetlands into cities, constructing buildings on water reservoirs are some of the causes.

When the reservoirs like lakes are converted into buildings, the excess water from rain has nowhere to go.

So, it floods the streets. As rainfall increases the water level rises and water enters houses. People move to safe areas.

Flood brings more water to rivers and the buildings in river banks collapse. So, people move away from these dangerous areas.

Flood affects transportation and interrupts electricity. People run out of essentials and food is provided to them by the rescue team with the help of helicopters.

Various rescue teams including NGOs function during flood times.

The outbreak of infectious diseases is also common during floods. Waterborne diseases like typhoid, cholera, hepatitis, jaundice and dengue are some of the diseases commonly spread during floods.

Mosquitoes breed and increase in number during floods. Flood damage the roads and destroy buildings.

These damages take time and a lot of money to reconstruct.

Main Differences Between Wildfire and Flood

  1. Wildfire occurs as a result of fire spreading alarmingly in forests and grasslands. While flood is the result of the accumulation of water
  2. Wildfire is common in summer. The dry weather of summers supports the spread of wildfire. Flood occurs in monsoons as the result of heavy rain
  3. Wildfire destroys forests and wild animals whereas, a flood destroys buildings, affect transportation and interrupt normal life
  4. Wildfire increases carbon dioxide emission and air pollution but flood leads to the spreading of diseases and destruction of buildings and infrastructures
  5. Fire retarders are used to put off a wildfire. People are rescued and they are given food and shelter till situations come back to normal during floods
Difference Between Wildfire and Flood


Wildfires and floods are different and they affect two different types of land. Both occur during different seasons.

One is caused by fire the other by water. Both have detrimental effects on the environment and living organisms.

Wildfire kills a lot of wild animals. Rare animal and plant species are also destroyed during wildfires.

Humans are the major cause of many natural calamities. We destroy nature for our greed and it backfires in a bad way.

Global warming is responsible for both floods and wildfires. Global warming increases sea levels and thus floods occur.

Wildfire may occur due to excess heat and friction of tree branches.


  1. https://agupubs.onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.1002/2015WR018176
  2. https://www.emerald.com/insight/content/doi/10.1108/09653560610669936/full/html?journalCode=dpm
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