Wild fires kill 339 000 people a year

2012-02-19 21:34

Vancouver - Wildfires, peat fires and controlled burns on farming lands kill 339 000 people worldwide each year, said a study released on Saturday that is the first to estimate a death toll for landscape fires.

Most of those deaths are concentrated in sub-Saharan Africa, where an estimated 157 000 people die as a result of being exposed to such fires annually, with southeast Asia ranking second with 110 000 deaths.

"I was surprised at our estimate being so high when you consider that the exposure to fire smoke is quite intermittent for most people," said lead author Fay Johnston of the University of Tasmania.

"Even in southeast Asia and Africa, [fire] is a seasonal phenomenon. It is not year round," Johnston said at the American Association for the Advancement of Science annual meeting in Vancouver where she presented her research.

The study, which Johnston said was the first of its kind to attempt to estimate a death toll from wildfires and grass burns, was published on Saturday in the journal Environmental Health Perspectives.

Researchers looked at the number of deaths from all causes in areas that were exposed to heavy smoke and landscape fire.

The number of deaths from wildfires came in far below the previously estimated global tolls for indoor air pollution at two million people per year and urban air pollution at 800 000.

However, the study authors said their findings indicated that "fire emissions are an important contributor to global mortality".

Furthermore, about twice as many people died during El Nino years when the surface ocean temperature rises in the tropical eastern Pacific Ocean (averaging 532, 00) as during cooler La Nina years (averaging 262 000), suggesting a significant link between climate and fire mortality.

- SAPA
Read more on:    canada  |  fires
NEXT ON NEWS24X
SHARE:

Read News24’s Comments Policy

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
1 comment
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining

Inside News24

 
/News

Jobs in Cape Town [change area]

Property [change area]

Travel - Look, Book, Go!

Kalahari.com - shop online today

Save up to 40% on outdoor accessories!

Tents, sleeping, day packs and more. While stocks last. Shop now!

Month End Madness Sale!

Save up to 60% on across a wide range of goods from books to electronics, DVDs and many more. Sale end 31 January 2015. Shop now!

Valentine’s Day gifts – 14 Feb!

Gifts to spoil him and her. While stocks last. Shop now!

30% off fragrances

Get 30% off fragrances for him and her. While stocks last. Shop now!

Up to 30% off All Textbooks

Save up to 30% off an extensive range of prescribed textbooks for all major universities and FET colleges. Shop Now!

OLX Free Classifieds [change area]

Samsung Galaxy s4

Mobile, Cell Phones in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 24

Best bargain in big bay

Real Estate, Houses - Apartments for Sale in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

VW Golf 6, 1.6 Trendline (Excellent condition)

Vehicles, Cars in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

Horoscopes
Aquarius
Aquarius

There is a tendency to be too fixed on a set way of doing things today. You may get challenged and the best approach is to keep an...read more

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.








Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.