Wildfires are fires that burn out of control in a natural area, like a forest, grassland, or prairie. They often begin unnoticed. They spread quickly, and can damage natural resources, destroy homes, and threaten the safety of the public and firefighters.
Humans cause most wildfires. It can be an accident, like when people don't take care of their campfire properly, burn debris, or are careless when getting rid of their cigarettes. It can also be on purpose, which is called arson. Lightning and lava also can also causes wildfires. Wildfires are more common when conditions are dry. High winds can make them spread more quickly.
Although there are no guarantees of safety if you live in an area threatened by a wildfire, you can take actions to protect yourself. You should have a disaster plan. Being prepared can help reduce fear, anxiety, and losses. If you do experience a disaster, it is normal to feel stressed. You may need help in finding ways to cope.
Federal Emergency Management Agency
- Active Fire Mapping Program (Department of Agriculture)
- Disaster Distress Helpline: Wildfires (Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration)
- Federal Emergency Management Agency Also in Spanish
- National Fire News -- Current Wildfires (National Interagency Fire Center)
- Protect Yourself from Wildfire Smoke (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) - In English and Spanish Also in Spanish
- Protect Yourself from Wildfire Smoke (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) Also in Spanish
- Stay Safe after a Wildfire (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) Also in Spanish
- United States Fire Administration
- Wildfires (Department of Homeland Security) Also in Spanish
- Wildfires: What Parents Need to Know (American Academy of Pediatrics) Also in Spanish
Journal Articles References and abstracts from MEDLINE/PubMed (National Library of Medicine)
- Article: The timing of fireworks-caused wildfire ignitions during the 4th of July...
- Article: Notes from the Field: Asthma-Associated Emergency Department Visits During a Wildfire...
- Article: Asthma-Associated Emergency Department Visits During the Canadian Wildfire Smoke Episodes -...
- Wildfires -- see more articles
- Avoiding Wildfire Damage: A Checklist for Homeowners (Federal Emergency Management Agency) - PDF