forest fireforest fireswildfiresfirefiresbrush firebush firewildland fireburnedbrushfire
A wildfire, wildland fire or rural fire is an uncontrolled fire in an area of combustible vegetation occurring in rural areas.wikipedia
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Controlled burn

prescribed burnprescribed burningprescribed fire
One common and inexpensive technique is controlled burning: intentionally igniting smaller fires to minimize the amount of flammable material available for a potential wildfire.
A controlled or prescribed burn, also known as hazard reduction burning, backfire, swailing, or a burn-off, is a wildfire set intentionally for purposes of forest management, farming, prairie restoration or greenhouse gas abatement.

Complex early seral forest

Snag forestComplex Early Seral Forestscomplex early successional forests
High-severity wildfire creates complex early seral forest habitat (also called "snag forest habitat"), which often has higher species richness and diversity than unburned old forest.
They are generated by natural disturbances such as wildfire or insect outbreaks that reset ecological succession processes and follow a pathway that is influenced by biological legacies (e.g., large live trees and snags, downed logs, seed banks, resprout tissue, fungi, and other live and dead biomass) that were not removed during the initial disturbance.

Defensible space (fire control)

defensible space
Building codes in fire-prone areas typically require that structures be built of flame-resistant materials and a defensible space be maintained by clearing flammable materials within a prescribed distance from the structure.
"Defensible space" is also used in the context of wildfires, especially in the wildland-urban interface (WUI).


lightning boltlightning strikelightning strikes
Many other observational variants are recognized, including "heat lightning", which can be seen from a great distance but not heard; dry lightning, which can cause forest fires; and ball lightning, which is rarely observed scientifically.

Coal-seam fire

coal seam firemine firemining fire
Coal seam fires burn in the thousands around the world, such as those in Burning Mountain, New South Wales; Centralia, Pennsylvania; and several coal-sustained fires in China.
Wildfires (lightning-caused or others) can ignite the coal closer to the surface or entrance, and the smouldering fire can spread through the seam, creating subsidence that may open further seams to oxygen and spawn future wildfires when the fire breaks to the surface.

List of California wildfires

California wildfireswildfire in modern California historyCalifornia history
A 2015 study indicates that the increase in fire risk in California may be attributable to human-induced climate change.
The following is a list of notable wildfires of various sizes that have occurred in California.

Animal husbandry

husbandrybreedingcattle breeding
In Africa, Central America, Fiji, Mexico, New Zealand, South America, and Southeast Asia, wildfires can be attributed to human activities such as agriculture, animal husbandry, and land-conversion burning.
As the ecological impact of this land management strategy is similar to the impact of such natural disturbances as a wildfire, this agricultural system shares many beneficial characteristics with a natural habitat, including the promotion of biodiversity.

Global warming

climate changeglobal climate changeanthropogenic climate change
A 2015 study indicates that the increase in fire risk in California may be attributable to human-induced climate change. Global warming may increase the intensity and frequency of droughts in many areas, creating more intense and frequent wildfires.
Overall, higher temperatures bring more rain and snowfall, but for some regions droughts and wildfires increase instead.

Fire whirl

fire tornadofire whirlsfirenado
Great vertical differences in temperature and humidity encourage pyrocumulus clouds, strong winds, and fire whirls with the force of tornadoes at speeds of more than 80 km/h.
A fire whirl can reach up to 2,000 F. Fire whirls become frequent when a wildfire, or especially firestorm, creates its own wind, which can spawn large vortices.

Fire regime

regimefire regimesfire return interval
Plants in wildfire-prone ecosystems often survive through adaptations to their local fire regime.
A fire regime is the pattern, frequency, and intensity of the bushfires and wildfires that prevail in an area over long periods of time.


eucalypteucalyptus treeeucalypts
For example, plants of the genus Eucalyptus contain flammable oils that encourage fire and hard sclerophyll leaves to resist heat and drought, ensuring their dominance over less fire-tolerant species.
Wildfire is a feature of the Australian landscape and many eucalypt species are adapted to fire, and resprout after fire or have seeds which survive fire.


weatheredchemical weatheringweather resistant
The thermal heat from wildfire can cause significant weathering of rocks and boulders, heat can rapidly expand a boulder and thermal shock can occur, which may cause an object's structure to fail.
Forest fires and range fires are also known to cause significant weathering of rocks and boulders exposed along the ground surface.


vegetativevegetatedvegetative cover
A wildfire, wildland fire or rural fire is an uncontrolled fire in an area of combustible vegetation occurring in rural areas.
Abrupt changes are generally referred to as disturbances; these include things like wildfires, high winds, landslides, floods, avalanches and the like.


A wildfire front is the portion sustaining continuous flaming combustion, where unburned material meets active flames, or the smoldering transition between unburned and burned material.
Common examples of smouldering phenomena are the initiation of residential fires on upholstered furniture by weak heat sources (e.g., a cigarette, a short-circuited wire), and the persistent combustion of biomass behind the flaming front of wildfires.

Forest floor

duffforest litterfloor
The forest floor is also an important fuel source in forest fires.

Invasive species

invasiveinvasive plant speciesinvasive plant
Invasive species, such as Lygodium microphyllum and Bromus tectorum, can grow rapidly in areas that were damaged by fires.
When changes such as a forest fire occur, normal succession favors native grasses and forbs.


droughtsdrought reliefdry
Heat waves, droughts, climate variability such as El Niño, and regional weather patterns such as high-pressure ridges can increase the risk and alter the behavior of wildfires dramatically.
Direct effects of El Niño resulting in drier conditions occur in parts of Southeast Asia and Northern Australia, increasing bush fires, worsening haze, and decreasing air quality dramatically.

Wildland fire emission

Wildfire emissions
Wildfire emissions contain fine particulate matter which can cause cardiovascular and respiratory problems.
Wildland fire and wildland fire atmospheric emissions have been a part of the global biosphere for millennia.

Cumulonimbus flammagenitus

pyrocumulonimbuspyrocumulonimbus cloudCumulonimbus flammagenitus (cloud)
The vertical lift of a severe thunderstorm or pyrocumulonimbus can be enhanced in the area of a large wildfire, which can propel smoke, soot, and other particulate matter as high as the lower stratosphere.
The cumulonimbus flammagenitus cloud (CbFg), also known as the pyrocumulonimbus cloud, is a type of cumulonimbus cloud that forms above a source of heat, such as a wildfire, and may sometimes even extinguish the fire that formed it.

Flammagenitus (cloud)

pyrocumuluspyrocumulus cloudFlammagenitus
Great vertical differences in temperature and humidity encourage pyrocumulus clouds, strong winds, and fire whirls with the force of tornadoes at speeds of more than 80 km/h.
Phenomena such as volcanic eruptions and forest fires can induce formation of this cloud, by mechanisms similar to those that form homogenitus.

Caribbean pine

Pinus caribaeaP. caribaeaHonduras pine
Caribbean Pine in Bahamian pineyards have adapted to and rely on low-intensity, surface fires for survival and growth.
Wildfire plays a major role limiting the range of this species, but it has been reported that this tree regenerates quickly and aggressively, replacing latifoliate trees.

Conifer cone

conespine coneseed cones
Sequoia rely on periodic fires to reduce competition, release seeds from their cones, and clear the soil and canopy for new growth.
The condition of fallen pine cones is a crude indication of the forest floor's moisture content, which is an important indication of wildfire risk.

Bushfires in Australia

Depending on the type of vegetation present, a wildfire can also be classified more specifically as a brush fire, bushfire (in Australia), desert fire, forest fire, grass fire, hill fire, peat fire, vegetation fire, or veld fire.


Exposure to smoke from burning plants promotes germination in other types of plants by inducing the production of the orange butenolide.

Yellowstone National Park

YellowstoneYellowstone ParkYellowstone territory
An increase in fire-related debris flow in alluvial fans of northeastern Yellowstone National Park was linked to the period between AD 1050 and 1200, coinciding with the Medieval Warm Period.
Forest fires occur in the park each year; in the large forest fires of 1988, nearly one third of the park was burnt.