Sat

04

Apr

2015

Wildfire

It was a brush fire again!!! after a big fire last Tuesday near CJM stables.  They don't know the causes of the fires yet, but I believe littering of cigarettes may be the cause of the brush fire since I often see people both local and tourists throw away cigarettes from the car.  

Just yesterday, too, I saw a man throwing away a cigarette butt in front of the Koloa Fishmarket from the red convertible car.   To my surprise, fire was still on.   Kauai is called "Garden Island" however if you walk on Kauai, you will notice there are many cigarettes butts on the roadside.   

I don't have any intention to tell smokers to stop smoking.  But for all smokers, please make sure to put out cigarettes when you are done.  Especially nowadays, it is very dry and windy, let us all be careful about "fire."

Speaking of fire, I was very surprised to know English has many expressions of wildfire.   Here in Hawaii, it is called brush fire.   But depending on the place or what is burning,  it is called bush fire, forest fire, desert fire, grass fire, hill fire, peat fire, vegetation fire and veldfire.

But in Japan, they are all called as "Yama-Kaji."  Of course, there are a few more expressions but not as many as English words.  Most people prefer to use "Yama-kaji" which literally means "Mountain-fire."  Because "Yama=mountain" indicates "nature."   Yama-kaji is a right word for various wild fires.

Then what can be the reason why English language has so many words of the wildfire?   Why Japanese language don't have many expressions of wildfire?

What do you think?

I simply guessed the numbers of wildfire happened might be the reason.  So I googled how many wildfires happened both in Japan and in the United States in a year.

According to Wikipedia, in the United States, there are typically between 60,000 and 80,000 wildfires that occur each year, burning 3 million to 10 million acres (12,000 to 40,000 square kilometres) of land depending on the year. 

On the other hand, there were only *283 wildfires in Japan in 2008.   So much difference!!!!  Of course, US land is 25 times bigger than Japan.  But  60,000 wildfires are incredibly lots of numbers as compared to the frequency of the wildfires in Japan (283 x 25 times = 7075).   Because there are tremendously many wildfires in the United States, people are very mindful of the fires.  I assume as a result, they name it differently as they notice a different type of fire.

I looked back all my 25 years when I was in Japan but I cannot recall any wildfires happened nearby my place in Japan.   Maybe I saw wildfires in the TV news several times.  That's all.  But since 1999 till now, I remember many wildfires happened here in this small island.  So much differences of the numbers of fires sound so true.

*This morning, I was checking at the website of the Japanese Ministry of Internal affairs and communications, I found the updated data which says, in 2012, there were 1178 wildfires.  Then there were 2020 wildfires in 2013.  During the past ten years, numbers of wildfires are dramatically increasing.  In a sense, if it's increasing here in the United States, wildfire issue belongs to the biggest problem of the global warming issue.


Around noon time when I was about to start a service on April 2nd, 2015, I saw smoke at Koloa and fire trucks came to extinguish fire.
Around noon time when I was about to start a service on April 2nd, 2015, I saw smoke at Koloa and fire trucks came to extinguish fire.

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