A composition of inflammable materials, which, kindled, is very hard to quench; Greek fire. [1913 Webster] Brimstone, pitch, wildfire . . . burn cruelly, and hard to quench. --Bacon. [1913 Webster]
(Med.) (a) An old name for erysipelas. (b) A disease of sheep, attended with inflammation of the skin. [1913 Webster]
A sort of lightning unaccompanied by thunder. [R.] [1913 Webster]
Word Netwildfire n : a raging and rapidly spreading conflagration
- 1622, Thomas Dekker and Philip Massinger, The Virgin Martyr
- The. Do not blow,
- The Furnace of a wrath thrice hot already;
- Ætna is in my brest, wildfire burns here,
- Which onely bloud must quench ...
- The Furnace of a wrath thrice hot already;
- The. Do not blow,
- 1715, Floyer, Edward Baynard, Psychrolousia. Or, the History of
Cold Bathing: Both Ancient and Modern
- Where are [...] the Aunts that do as much for their Nieces, and make them caper and sparkle like Wildfire?
- 1715, Francisco de Quevedo, The Visions of Dom Francisco de
- I slept very disturbedly, and had a quick high towring Pulse; had strange Flashes in my Blood, like Wild-fire, which I could percieve in my Face, Neck, Breast, and extream Parts.
- 1862, Martim de Albuquerque, Notes and Queries.
A wildfire, also known as a wildland fire, forest fire, brush fire, vegetation fire, grass fire, peat fire, bushfire (in Australasia), or hill fire, is an uncontrolled fire often occurring in wildland areas, but which can also consume houses or agricultural resources. Common causes include lightning, human carelessness, arson, volcano eruption, and pyroclastic cloud from active volcano. Heat waves, droughts, and cyclical climate changes such as El Niño can also have a dramatic effect on the risk of wildfires.
The word "wildfire" was once a synonym for Greek fire as well as a word for any furious or destructive conflagration. According to the Oxford English Dictionary, the earliest known usages are specifically for lightning-caused conflagrations. The modern usage may have arisen in part from people misunderstanding the expression "spread like wildfire".
BackgroundWildfires are very common in many places around the world, including much of the vegetated areas of Australia as well as the veld in the interior and the fynbos in the Western Cape of South Africa, and of course, California. The forested areas of the United States and Canada are also susceptible to wildfires. The climates are sufficiently moist to allow the growth of trees, but feature extended dry, hot periods. Fires are particularly prevalent in the summer and fall, and during droughts when fallen branches, leaves, and other material can dry out and become highly flammable. Some suggest that global warming has been increasing the intensity and frequency of droughts in many areas, creating more intense and frequent wildfires. Wildfires are also common in grasslands and scrublands.
Wildfires tend to be most common and severe during years of drought and occur on days of strong winds. With extensive urbanization of wildlands, these fires often involve destruction of suburban homes located in the wildland urban interface, a zone of transition between developed areas and undeveloped wildland.
Today it is generally accepted that wildfires are a natural part of the ecosystem of numerous wildlands, where some plants have evolved to survive fires by a variety of strategies (from possessing reserve shoots that sprout after a fire, to fire-resistant seeds), or even encourage fire (for example eucalypts contain flammable oils in their leaves) as a way to eliminate competition from less fire-tolerant species. Smoke, charred wood, and head are common fire cues that stimulate the germination of seeds (Keeley and Fotheringham 1997). In 2004, researchers discovered that exposure to smoke from burning plants actually promotes germination in other types of plants by inducing the production of the orange butenolide.
However, many ecosystems are suffering from too much fire such as the chaparral in southern California and lower elevation deserts in the American Southwest. The increased fire frequency in these areas has caused the elimination of native plant communities and have replaced them with non-native weeds (Keeley 1995, Zedler 1995). These weeds create a positive feedback loop, increasing fire frequency even more (Brooks, et al. 2004).
On occasions, wildfires have caused large-scale damage to private or public property, destroying many homes and causing deaths, particularly when they have reached urban-fringe communities. Wildfires are extremely dangerous, but some are purposely caused.
Designations and terminologyIn the U.S., there are a number of specific terms that are applicable to such fires. A Wildland fire is "any non-structure fire, that occurs in the wildland", and there are three distinct types of wildland fire which are defined:
- Wildfire is "an unplanned, unwanted wildland fire, including unauthorized human-caused fires, escaped wildland fire use events, escaped prescribed fire projects and all other wildland fires where the objective is to put the fire out."
- Wildland fire use is "the application of the appropriate management response to naturally ignited wildland fires to accomplish specific resource management objectives in predefined designated areas outlined in Fire Management Plans."
- Prescribed fire is "any fire ignited by management actions to meet specific objectives."
BehaviorThe evaporation of water in plants is balanced by water absorbed from the soil. Below this threshold, the plants dry out and under stress release the flammable gas ethylene. A consequence of a long hot and dry period is therefore that the air contains flammable essences and plants are drier and highly flammable.
The propagation of the fire has three mechanisms:
- "crawling" fire: the fire spreads via low level vegetation (e.g., bushes)
- "crown" fire: a fire that "crowns" (spreads to the top branches of trees) can spread at an incredible pace through the top of a forest. Crown fires can be extremely dangerous to all inhabitants underneath, as they may spread faster than they can be outrun, particularly on windy days. (see Firestorm)
- "jumping" or "spotting" fire: burning branches and leaves are carried by the wind and start distant fires; the fire can thus "jump" over a road, river, or even a firebreak. In Australian bushfires, spot fires have been documented "up to 10 km [aprox. 6 miles] ahead of the fire front" (Billing 1983).
The Nevada Bureau of Land Management identifies several different wildfire behaviors. For example, extreme fire behavior includes wide rates of spread, prolific crowning and/or spotting, the presence of fire whirls, or a strong convection column. Extreme wildfires behave erratically and unpredictably.
In southern California, under the influence of Santa Ana winds, wildfires can move at incredible speeds, up to 40 miles (60 km) in a single day, consuming up to 1,000 acres (4 km²) per hour. Dense clouds of burning embers push relentlessly ahead of the flames crossing firebreaks without pause.
The powerful updraft caused by a large wildfire will draw in air from surrounding areas. These self-generated winds can lead to a phenomenon known as a firestorm.
French models of wildfires dictate that a fire's front line will take on the characteristic shape of a pear; the major axis being aligned with the wind. In the case of the fires in southeastern France, the speed of the fire is estimated to be 3% to 8% of the speed of the wind, depending on the conditions (density and type of vegetation, slope). Other models predict an elliptical shape when the ground is flat and the vegetation is homogeneous.
Another type of wildfire is the smouldering fire. It involves the slow combustion of surface fuels without generating flame, spreading slowly and steadily. It can linger for days or weeks after flaming has ceased, resulting in potential large quantities of fuel consumed and becoming a global source of emissions to the atmosphere. It heats the duff and mineral layers, affecting the roots, seeds and plant stems at the ground.
Since 1997, in Kalimantan and East Sumatra, Indonesia, there is a type of continuous smouldering fire on the peat bogs that burns underground for years without any supply of oxygen. The underground fire ignited new forest fires each year during dry season.
PreventionFor many decades the policy of the United States Forest Service was to suppress all fires. This policy was epitomized by the mascot Smokey Bear and was also the basis of parts of the movie Bambi. The policy began to be questioned in the 1960s, when it was realized that no new Giant Sequoia had been grown in the forests of California, because fire is an essential part of their life cycle. This produced the policy of controlled burns to reduce underbrush. This clears much of the undergrowth through forest and woodland areas, making travel and hunting much easier while reducing the risk of dangerous high-intensity fires caused by many years of fuel buildup.
The previous policy of absolute fire suppression in the United States has resulted in the buildup of fuel in some ecosystems such as dry ponderosa pine forests. However, this concept has been misapplied in a "one-size-fits-all" application to other ecosystems such as California chaparral. Fire suppression in southern California has had very little impact over the past century. The amount of land burned in 6 southern California counties has been relatively unchanged. In fact, fire frequency has been increasing dramatically over the past century in lock step with population growth. Urbanization can also result in fuel buildup and devastating fires, such as those in Los Alamos, New Mexico, East Bay Hills, within the California cities of Oakland and Berkeley between October 19 and 22, 1991, all over Colorado in 2002, and throughout southern California in October 2003. Homes designed without considering the fire prone environment in which they are built have been the primary reason for the catastrophic losses experienced in wildfires.
On average, wildfires burn 4.3 million acres (17,000 km²) in the United States annually. In recent years the federal government has spent $1 billion a year on fire suppression. 2002 was a record year for fires with major fires in Arizona, California, Colorado, and Oregon.
The risk of major wildfires can be reduced partly by a reduction or alteration of fuel present. In wild land, reduction can be accomplished by either conducting controlled burns, deliberately setting areas ablaze under less dangerous weather when conditions are less volatile or physical fuel removal by removing some trees as is conducted in many American forests. Alteration of fuels, which involves reducing the structure of fuel ladders, can be accomplished by hand crews with chain saws or by large mastication equipment that shreds trees and vegetation to a mulch. Such techniques are best used within the wild land/urban interface where communities connect with wild open space. Prescribed burns in the back country, away from human habitations, are not particularly effective in preventing large fires. All the large catastrophic fires in the United States have been wind driven events where the amount of fuel (trees, shrubs, etc.) has not been the most important factor in fire spread.
People living in fire-prone areas typically take a variety of precautions, including building their homes out of flame-resistant materials, reducing the amount of fuel near the home or property (including firebreaks, their own miniature control lines, in effect), and investing in their own firefighting equipment.
Rural farming communities are rarely threatened directly by wildfire. These types of communities are usually located in large areas of cleared, usually grazed, land, and in the drought conditions present in wildfire years there is often very little grass left on such grazed areas. Hence the risk is minimized. However, urban fringes have spread into forested areas, for example in Sydney and Melbourne, and communities have literally built themselves in the middle of highly flammable forests. In Cape Town, the city lies on the fringe of the Table Mountain National Park. These communities are at high risk of destruction in bush fires, and should take extra precautions.
There are quite a few US states, Canadian provinces and many countries around the world that still use Fire lookouts as a means of early detection of forest fires. Some nations still using this system besides the US and Canada include: Australia, Israel, Latvia, Poland, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Portugal, Brazil, Uruguay.
Wildfire detectionFast and effective detection is a key factor in wildfire fighting. Recently, there have been significant efforts to create automatic solutions for early wildfire detection. An integrated approach is best, based on a practical combination of different detection systems depending on wildfire risk and the size of the area.
A careful GIS data analysis will suggest how to divide the area in sub-categories based on different risk level and human presence (which imply a higher wildfire risk and a need for earlier intervention).
- A small high risk area (thick vegetation, strong human presence or close to critical urban area) could be monitored using a local sensor network.
- A larger medium risk area could be monitored by infrared scanning towers.
- Satellite and aero monitoring can provide a wider view and may be sufficient to monitor very large and low risk areas.
Fire suppressionThe vast majority of wildfires are suppressed before they grow out of control. In 2004, firefighters contained more than 99% of all new wildfires during initial action. That record was achieved despite the volatile conditions that prevailed in much of that year's fire season. However, the wildfires that escaped initial actions and grew above accounted for the bulk of acres burned, and nearly 75% of all suppression expenditures.
Wildland fire suppression is a unique aspect of firefighting. Most fire-prone areas have large firefighter services to help control bushfires. As well as the water-spraying fire apparatus most commonly used in urban firefighting, bushfire services use a variety of alternative techniques. Typically, forest fire fighting organizations will use large crews of 20 or more people who travel in trucks to the fire. These crews use heavier equipment to construct firebreaks, and are the mainstay of most firefighting efforts. Other personnel are organized into fast attack teams typically consisting of 5–8 people. These fast attack teams are helicoptered into smaller fires or hard to reach areas as a preemptive strike force. They use portable pumps to douse small fires and chainsaws to construct firebreaks or helicopter landing pads if more resources are required. Hand tools are commonly used to construct firebreaks and remove fuels around the perimeter of the fire to halt its spread, including shovels, rakes, and the pulaski, a tool unique to wildland firefighting. In the eastern United States, portable leaf blowers are sometimes used. In the western United States, large fires often become extended campaigns, and temporary fire camps are constructed to provide food, showers, and rest to fire crews. These large fires are often handled by 20 person hand crews, sometimes known as hotshot crews, specially organized to travel to large fires.
Fast attack teams, such as the Boise District BLM Helitack crew, are often considered the elite of firefighting forces, as they sometimes deploy in unusual ways. If the fire is on a particularly steep hill or in a densely wooded area, they may rappel or fast-rope down from helicopters. If the fire is extremely remote, firefighters known as smokejumpers may parachute into site from fixed-wing aircraft. In addition to the aircraft used for deploying ground personnel, firefighting outfits often possess helicopters and water bombers specially equipped for use in aerial firefighting. These aircraft can douse areas that are inaccessible to ground crews and deliver greater quantities of water and/or flame retardant chemicals. Managing all of these various resources over such a large area in often very rugged terrain is extremely challenging, and often the Incident Command System is used. As such, each fire will have a designated Incident Commander who oversees and coordinates all the operations on the fire. This Incident Commander is ultimately responsible for the safety of the firefighters and for the success of firefighting efforts.
Large fires are of such a size that no conceivable firefighting service could attempt to douse the whole fire directly, and so alternative techniques are used. In alternative approaches, firefighters attempt to control the fire by controlling the area that it can spread to, by creating "control lines", which are areas that contain no combustible material. These control lines can be produced by physically removing fuel (for instance, with a bulldozer), or by "backfiring", in which small, low-intensity fires are started, using a device such as the driptorch, or pyrotechnic flares known as "fusees", to burn the flammable material in a (hopefully) controlled way. These may then be extinguished by firefighters or, ideally, directed in such a way that they meet the main fire front, at which point both fires run out of flammable material and are thus extinguished.
Unfortunately, such methods can fail in the face of wind shifts causing fires to miss control lines or to jump straight over them (for instance, because a burning tree falls across a line, burning embers are carried by the wind over the line, or burning tumbleweeds cross the line).
The actual goals of firefighters vary. Protection of life (those of both the firefighters and "civilians") is given top priority, then private property according to economic and social value and also to its "defendibility" (for example, more effort will be expended on saving a house with a tile roof than one with a wooden-shake roof). In very severe, large fires, this is sometimes the only possible action. Protecting houses is regarded as more important than, say, farming machinery sheds, although firefighters, if possible, try to keep fires off farmland to protect stock and fences (steel fences are destroyed by the passage of fire, as the wire is irreversibly stretched and weakened by it). Preventing the burning of publicly owned forested areas is generally of least priority, and, indeed, it is quite common (in Australia, at least) for firefighters to simply observe a fire burn towards control lines through forest rather than attempt to put it out more quickly; it is, after all, a natural process. On any incident, ensuring the safety of firefighters takes priority over fire suppression. When arriving on a scene a fire crew will establish a safety zone(s), escape routes, and designate lookouts (known by the acronym LCES, for lookouts, communications, escape routes, safety zones). This allows the firefighters to engage a fire with options for a retreat should their current situation become unsafe. In addition all fire suppression activities are based from an "anchor point" (such as lake, rock slide or road). From an anchor point firefighters can work to contain a wild land fire without the fire outflanking them. As a last resort, all wild land firefighters carry a fire shelter. In an unescapable burnover situation the shelter will provide limited protection from radiant and convective heat, as well as superheated air. As such a greater emphasis is placed on safety and preventing entrapment, and is reinforced with a list of 10 fire orders and 18 "watch out situations" for firefighters to be aware of, which warn of potentially dangerous conditions.
In North America, the belief that fire suppression has substantially reduced the average annual area burned is widely held by resource managers and is often thought to be self-evident. However, this belief has been the focus of vocal debate in the scientific literature.
A new material called "gel" (made from super-absorbent polymer) is used in California, USA for fighting forest fire. Water is soaked up by the gel and stored in layers of tiny bubbles. The gel can protect tree/house for longer time than ordinary water, because it gets boiled by the fire one layer at a time.
Atmospheric effectsMost of the Earth's weather and air pollution reside in the troposphere, the part of the atmosphere that extends from the surface of the planet to a height of between 8 and 13 kilometers. A severe thunderstorm or pyrocumulonimbus in the area of a large wildfire can have its vertical lift enhanced to boost smoke, soot and other particles as high as the lower stratosphere (Wang, 2003).
Previously, it was thought that most particles in the stratosphere came from volcanoes or were generated by high-flying aircraft. Collection of air samples from the stratosphere in 2003 led to detection of carbon monoxide and other gases related to combustion at a level 30 times higher than can be accounted for by commercial aircraft.
Satellite observation of smoke plumes from wildfires revealed that the plumes could be traced intact for distances exceeding 5,000 kilometers. This observation suggests that the plumes were in the stratosphere above weather conditions that would have brought the plume back to earth.
Atmospheric models suggest that these concentrations of sooty particles could increase absorption of incoming solar radiation during winter months by as much as 15% (Baumgardner, et al., 2003).
The massive forest fire in Indonesia (1997/1998) released approx. 2.57 gigatonnes of Carbon Dioxide into the atmosphere (source: Nature magazine, November 2002). During 1997-1998, the total amount of Carbon Dioxide released to the atmosphere was 6 gigatonnes. Most of the Carbon Dioxide gas is released by the continuous underground smouldering fire on the peat bogs.
After the end of a wildfire, houses sometimes experience an ember attack - an onslaught of burning twigs or branches that can ignite a fire in the house.
BenefitsFire is sometimes essential for forest regeneration, or provides tangible benefits for local communities. In other cases it destroys forests and has dire social and economic consequences.
Forest fires are a natural part of ecosystems in many, but not all, forest types: in boreal and dry tropical forests for example they are a frequent and expected feature, while in tropical moist forests they would naturally be absent or at least rare enough to play a negligible role in ecology.
StatisticsEvery year, the burnt surface represents about:
- France: 211 km², 52,140 acres, 0.04% of the territory
- 1991 : 1,820 km², 449,732 acres, i.e. 2% of the territory
- 2003 : 4,249 km², 1.05 million acres, i.e. 4.6% of the territory; 20 deaths ;
- 2004 : 1,205 km², 297,836 acres, i.e. 1.3% of the territory
- 2005 : 2,864 km², 707,668 acres, i.e. 3.1% of the territory; 17 deaths;
- 2006 : 724 km², 178,904 acres, i.e. 0.8% of the territory; 10 deaths;
- United States: 17,400 km², 4.3 million acres i.e. 0.18% of the territory
- Indonesia. Sources: before 1997 from Indonesian Environmental
Impact Management Agency (BAPEDAL) and Canadian International
Development Agency (CIDA) - Collaborative Environmental Project in
Indonesia (CEPI). 1997/1998 from Asian Development Bank (ADB). From
1999: Indonesian Ministry of Forestry.
- 1982 and 1983: 36,000 km² (8.9 million acres)
- 1987: 492 km² (121,880 acres).
- 1991: 1,189 km² (293,761 acres).
- 1994: 1,618 km² (399,812 acres).
- 1997 and 1998: 97,550 km² (24.1 million acres) - from ADB.
- 1999: 440.90 km² (108,949 acres).
- 2000: 82.55 km² ( 20,399 acres).
- 2001: 143.51 km² ( 35,462 acres).
- 2002: 366.91 km² ( 90,665 acres).
- 2003: 37.45 km² ( 9,254 acres).
- 2004: 139.91 km² ( 34,573 acres).
- 2005: 133.28 km² ( 32,934 acres).
- Siege of 1987 Refers to a complex of fires in northern California and southern Oregon that burned a total of about 650,000 acres. These fires were started by a large lightning storm in late August. The storm started roughly 1600 new fires, most caused by dry lightning. Firefighting efforts continued into October, before the majority of the fires were controlled.
- McNally Fire Sequoia NF burned roughly 151,000 acres in 2002, and is the largest wildfire recorded in the forest's history.
- The 2003 Okanagan Mountain Park Fire was started by a lightning strike near Rattlesnake Island in Okanagan Mountain Park in British Columbia, Canada, during one of the driest summers in the past decade. The final size of the firestorm was over 250 square kilometres (61,776 acres). 60 fire departments, 1,400 armed forces troops and 1,000 forest fire fighters took part in controlling the fire, but were largely helpless in stopping the disaster.
- The January 1939 Black Friday fires. Across the Australian state of Victoria, almost 20,000 km² (4,942,000 acres, 2,000,000 ha) of land were burnt, 71 people died, several towns were entirely destroyed. The Stretton Royal Commission that resulted from it led to major changes in fire and forest management in Australia.
- The February 1967 Tasmanian fires. Fuelled by a severe drought, 110 fires burnt out over 617,763 acres in the Australian state of Tasmania in around 5 hours. The fires killed 62 people and destroyed 1,400 homes and other buildings. Seven thousand people were left homeless. The fire encircled the state capital Hobart cutting communications and burnt to within 8 km (4.9 mi) of the city centre.
- The February 1983 Ash Wednesday fires. Extreme weather and severe drought conditions combined to create one of Australia’s worst fire days in a century. In 12 hours on February 16 in the states of Victoria and South Australia 75 people died, including 17 firefighters. Over 2,545 homes were lost along with heavy loss of farms and livestock. Nearly 1,284,000 acres (5,196 km²) were burnt throughout the 1982/83 fire season. Many of the fatalities were caused by a rapid change in the speed and direction of the firefront and poor evacuation procedures.
- In 2004, approximately 6.5 million acres burned in Alaska, in the state's largest recorded fire season. Over 500,000 acres burned in the Boundary Fire north of Fairbanks.
- The Zaca Fire burned Los Padres NF, CA. It burned 240,207 acres. It is the 2nd largest recorded fire in California.
- The Evans Road Wildfire of June 2008 in Eastern North Carolina has so far burned over 20,500 acres and is continuing to crawl northward towards Virgina.
- Aerial firefighting
- Controlled burn
- Defensible space
- Fire ecology
- Fire lookout tower
- Floods after wildfires (i.e. after Greek 2007 wildfires)
- Glossary of wildland fire terms
- International Association of Wildland Fire
- Keetch-Byram Drought Index
- List of forest fires
- Success of fire suppression in northern forests
- Wildland Firefighter Foundation
- Baumgardner, D., et al. 2003. Warming of the Arctic lower stratosphere by light absorbing particle. American Geophysical Union fall meeting. Dec. 8-12. San Francisco.
- Billing, P., 1983. Otways Fire No. 22 - 1982/83 Aspects of fire behaviour, Fire Research Branch Report No. 20. Dept. of Sustainability and Environment, Victoria, Australia. pp. 5-6, (PDF - 1.8 Mb). http://www.dse.vic.gov.au/DSE/nrenfoe.nsf/LinkView/332654EE29FA90344A2567E1002C8A4A7B3EF002FA04DC3A4A256DEA0013F3CB
- Bridge, S.R.J, K. Miyanishi and E.A. Johnson. 2005. A Critical Evaluation of Fire Suppression Effects in the Boreal Forest of Ontario. Forest Science 51:41-50.
- Fromm, M., et al. 2003. Stratospheric smoke down under: Injection from Australian fires/convection in January 2003. American Geophysical Union fall meeting. Dec. 8-12. San Francisco.
- Johnson, E.A. and Miyanishi K. (Eds.) 2001. Forest Fires - Behavior and Ecological Effects. Academic Press, San Diego.
- Johnson, E.A., K. Miyanishi, and S.R.J. Bridge. 2001. Wildfire regime in the boreal forest and the idea of suppression and fuel buildup. Conserv. Biol. 15:1554-1557.
- Keeley, J.E. and C.J. Fotheringham. 1997. gas emission in smoke-induced germination". Science 276: 1248-1250.
- Li, C. 2000. Fire regimes and their simulation with reference to Ontario. P. 115-140 in Ecology of a managed terrestrial landscape: patterns and processes of forest landscapes in Ontario, Perera, A.H., D.L. Euler, and I.D. Thompson (eds.). UBC Press, Vancouver, BC.
- Makarim, Nabiel, et al. BAPEDAL and CIDA-CEPI. 1998. Assessment of 1997 Land and Forest Fires in Indonesia: National Coordination. From "International Forest Fire News", #18, page 4-12, January 1998.
- Martell, D.L. 1994. The impact of fire on timber supply in Ontario. For. Chron. 70:164-173.
- Martell, D.L. 1996. Old-growth, disturbance, and ecosystem management: commentary. Can. J. Bot. 74:509-510.
- Miyanishi, K., and E.A. Johnson. 2001. A re-examination of the effects of fire suppression in the boreal forest. Can. J. For. Res. 31:1462-1466.
- Miyanishi, K., S.R.J. Bridge, AND E.A. Johnson. 2002. Wildfire regime in the boreal forest. Conserv. Biol. 16:1177-1178.
- Pyne, S.J. et al. 1996. Introduction to Wildland Fire. Wiley, New York.
- Stocks, B.J. 1991. The extent and impact of forest fires in northern circumpolar countries. P. 197-202 in Global biomass burning: atmospheric, climatic and biospheric implications, Levine, J.S. (ed.). MIT Press, Cambridge, MA.
- Wang, P.K. 2003. The physical mechanism of injecting biomass burning materials into the stratosphere during fire-induced thunderstorms. American Geophysical Union fall meeting. Dec. 8-12. San Francisco.
- Ward, P.C., and W. Mawdsley. 2000. Fire management in the boreal forests of Canada. P. 274-288 In Fire, climate change, and carbon cycling in the boreal forest, Kasischke, E.S., and B.J. Stocks (eds.). Springer, New York, NY.
- Ward, P.C., and A.G. Tithecott. 1993. The impact of fire management on the boreal landscape of Ontario. Aviation, Flood and Fire Management Branch Publication No. 305. Ont. Min. Nat. Res., Queens Printer for Ontario, Toronto, ON.
- Ward, P. C., Tithecott, A. G., & Wotton, B. M. 2001. Reply—a re-examination of the effects of fire suppression in the boreal forest. Canadian Journal of Forest Research, 31(8), 1467.
- Weber, M.G., and B.J. Stocks. 1998. Forest fires in the boreal forests of Canada. P. 215-233 in Large forest fires, Moreno, J.M. (ed.). Backhuys Publishers, Leiden.
- Zedler, P.H. 1995. Fire frequency in southern California shrublands: biological effects and management options, pp. 101-112 in J.E. Keeley and T. Scott (eds.), Brushfires in California wildlands: ecology and resource management. International Association of Wildland Fire, Fairfield, Wash.
Warning and monitoring
- CalFireNews.com - California / World Wildfire News and Photos
- FireFightingNews.com - Wildfire News and Photos
- Current Wildland Fire Information in the United States
- Weekly Forest Fire Situation Report - Canadian Forest Service
- The British Columbia Ministry of Forests-Protection Branch
- Global Fire Monitoring Center (GFMC)
- European Forest Fire Information System
- GeoMAC Wildfire information and internet map viewer of current wildfires in the United States
- Locations of large fires in the US and Canada based upon MODIS satellite imagery
- The 10 standard fire orders and 18 watch out situations
- Volunteer Wildfire Services, Cape Town, South Africa
- BWCA Fire Restrictions, Fire Danger, and Forest Fire Updates
Wildfire Detection Solution Providers
- Forest Fire Lookout Association
- The International Journal of Wildland Fire
- The International Association of Wildland Fire
- Fire and Environmental Research Applications Team
- FEMA report on the East Bay Hills Fire
- Interesting Forest Fire Policy
- SIADEX: A decision support system for fighting forest fires in Andalusia
- Fire in the East, Fire in the West An overview of conditions and agents of wildfire in different U.S. ecosystems
- French National Centre for Scientific Research - University of Corsica An international platform for the experimental investigations of free wildland fires at field scale
- Peuch, Eric "Firefighting Safety in France", Eighth International Wildland Fire Summit, April 26-26, 2005
- Fire and Haze in Southeast Asia
- CBC Digital Archives - Fighting Forest Fires
- US Forest Service Research Portal
- Canberra Fires
- Australian Bushfire Cooperative Research Centre
- National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health - Fighting Wildfires
- Social & Economic Costs of Wildfires from "NOAA Socioeconomics" website initiative
- OnEarth Magazine » Our Trial By Fire
- Wildfire photographs
- Fire and Conservation, The Nature Conservancy's Global Fire Initiative
- The California Chaparral Institute
- Wildfire Training and Fatality Investigations
- Wildland Fire Lessons Learned Center
- Enhanced Home & Family Wildfire Preparedness
- Wildland Firefighter Foundation
- Wildfire Communications Company
wildfire in Bosnian: Šumski požar
wildfire in Bulgarian: Горски пожар
wildfire in Catalan: Incendi forestal
wildfire in Danish: Skovbrand
wildfire in German: Waldbrand
wildfire in Spanish: Incendio forestal
wildfire in French: Feu de forêt
wildfire in Galician: Incendio forestal
wildfire in Korean: 산불
wildfire in Croatian: Šumski požar
wildfire in Indonesian: Kebakaran liar
wildfire in Hebrew: אש משתוללת
wildfire in Dutch: Bosbrand
wildfire in Japanese: 山火事
wildfire in Norwegian: Skogbrann
wildfire in Portuguese: Incêndio florestal
wildfire in Russian: Лесной пожар
wildfire in Serbo-Croatian: Šumski požar
wildfire in Finnish: Metsäpalo
wildfire in Swedish: Skogsbrand
wildfire in Thai: ไฟไหม้ป่า
wildfire in Turkish: Orman yangını
wildfire in Yiddish: וואלד פייער
wildfire in Chinese: 山火