WHAT IS ADVANCED SOIL TECHNOLOGY? AST is the term used for the product that helps stabilize fire-ravaged soil against erosion. It consists of polymers encased in recycled paper which bond to positive ions in the soil. This process forms clumps, breaking up the hard surface that can form following a fire. This promotes the absorption of water, stopping rain from flushing away soil. This process promotes the plant growth that will hold topsoil in place for the long term.
RUNNING WILD: Weather is a key factor in starting and spreading wildfires -- particularly drought, which dries out vegetation. Trees, underbrush, dry grassy fields, pine needles, dry leaves and twigs can all cause and spread forest fires because they burn faster, like kindling, than large logs or stumps. The more fuel that is present, the more intensely the fire will burn and the faster it will spread. When the fuel is very dry, such as after a long drought, it is consumed much faster, and the fire is much more difficult to contain. As the fire spreads, it generates heat that evaporates the moisture in potential fuel materials just beyond it, making it easier for those to ignite. Wind can also help spread a forest fire, and is the most unpredictable factor. Winds supply the fire with extra oxygen and push it across the land at a faster rate. Because the wind generally flows uphill, fires also travel faster up a slope than downhill. Wildfires can even generate their own winds, called fire whirls, which resemble tornados. They arise from the vortices created by the fire's heat, and can be so strong they have been known to hurl flaming logs and burning debris over long distances.