URL of this page: https://medlineplus.gov/wildfires.html

Wildfires

Also called: Forest Fire, Wildland Fire

Summary

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

Resources

Patient Handouts