Harbour, Tom Fire and Aviation Management Division, U.S. Department of Agriculture Forest Service, Washington, DC.
Last reviewed:May 2019
- Nature of fire
- Types of forest fires
- Research and value
- Four stages of wildfire
- Stage one: initial attack wildfires
- Stage two: extended attack wildfires
- Stage three: large wildfires
- Stage four: mega-fires
- Prevention, detection, mitigation, and suppression
- Links to Primary Literature
- Additional Readings
Uncontrolled combustion of forest fuels or vegetation. Forest fire, bushfire, wildland fire, and wildfire are terms that are used interchangeably and refer to all unplanned fires that burn surface fuels or vegetation (such as grasses, weeds, brush, chaparral, tundra, forests, and woodlands). Forest fires can damage or destroy homes as a consequence, but they are differentiated from fires that occur in buildings or other constructed improvements. Forest fires happen everywhere in the world, except in those places where water, snow, or ice is found throughout the year. Additionally, land management officials may plan the use of fire on landscapes as a tool to accomplish objectives, including restoration of forests to more natural conditions. See also: Fire; Forest; Forest ecosystem; Forestry; Restoration ecology
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