Fire is an event controlled by fuels (like trees, grasses, and shrubs), weather, and topgraphy / terrain. Fire has existed throughout all time periods, and prior to the appearance of humans in North America, the ingredients for fire were largely controlled by climate.
Since human presence, ignition sources and fuels have been modified; people have changed their environment. As a result, ecosystems have adapted to wildland fires, defined as all fires that burn in natural environments. The natural role of wildland fire, an important ecological force, cannot be ignored, because fire greatly influences ecosystems. Fire's influential role as an ecological force, similar to that of other natural phenomena, such as floods, earthquakes, and hurricanes, is discussed in the following sections.
Cultural Interpretations & Human Use
Fire has been a benevolent, mystical and religious symbol of great significance for cultures throughout the world.
Wildland Fire and Ecosystems
Fire affects different landscapes in varying ways, and many depend on fire to maintain the ecosystem's stability and diversity.
Fire is influenced by many factors, like geography, climate, weather, and topography.
Fire ecology is a branch of ecology that concentrates on the origins of wildland fire and its relationship to the environment.
Fire Effects Monitoring
Research on the effects of fire has been occurring for years in the national parks.
Most parks are located away from urban areas and maintain their own wildland fire protection and suppression equipment.
Fire Management Personnel
It takes many different types of people with a variety of skills to manage a fire.
Fire Spread and Suppression
There are three general patterns of fire spread recognized.
Fire Weather: Watches & Warnings
Fire Weather Watches and Red Flag Warnings are used to convey the possibility of severe fire weather to wildland fire agencies.
Fireline is a break in fuel, made by cutting, scraping or digging into the earth.
Hazardous Fuel Reduction
Fuel reduction projects and vegetation treatments have been proven as a means of mitigating wildfire hazards.
Incident Command System (ICS)
The Incident Command System is used to manage people and resources during many different types of incidents including fire, rescues, etc.
Incident Command System Levels
The Incident Command System (ICS) is flexible, scaling up or down as complexity changes and the needs of the incidents change.
There are five levels of preparedness typically used at a regional and national level.
Fire managers may "prescribe" a treatment for resource benefits or research.
Understanding Fire Danger
Combination of both constant and variable factors that affect the initiation, spread, and difficulty to control a wildfire on an area.
Wildfire Causes and Evaluation
Wildfires can be caused by nature, such as lava or lightning, but most are caused by humans.
Last updated: May 4, 2022