NFPA report about vegetation fires

The National Fire Protection Association has produced a report about vegetation fires. The organization only takes into account fires that were reported by local fire departments, and did not consider fires reported by state and federal agencies, which leaves out national and state lands such as parks, forests, wildlife refuges, and BLM lands.

Here we have the eye candy (an infographic) and below that the executive summary. The entire report is here.

NFPA vegetation fire stats NFPA vegetation fire stats

Executive Summary

Fires in the wildland/urban interface have often been in the news in recent years. Nine of the 25 costliest (in terms of property loss) fires in U.S. history were described as forest, wildland or wildland/urban interface fires. The eight costliest fires were in the last two decades. Federal or state agencies are typically involved in these massive fires. The term wildland/urban interface (WUI) is typically used to describe areas where extensive vegetation mixes with numerous structures and their inhabitants. WUI fires of note often begin and grow large in the vegetated areas before spreading to structures.

Many people do not realize how often local (municipal or county) fire departments around the country are called to smaller brush, grass and forest fires.

During 2007-2011, local fire departments responded to an estimated average of 334,200 brush, grass, and forest fires per year. This translates to 915 such fires per day.

  • Only 10% of these fires were coded as forest, woods, or wildland fires;
  • Two of every five (41%) were brush or brush and grass mixtures;
  • More than one-third (37%) were grass fires; and
  • 13% were unclassified forest, brush or grass fires or unclassified natural vegetation fires.

In three-quarters (76%) of the brush, grass, and forest fires handled by local fire departments, less than an acre burned. Only 4% burned more than ten acres. Fires in forests tended to be larger than other vegetation fires. Only three-fifths (59%) of the forest fires were less than an acre, while 9% consumed more than ten acres.

Typos, let us know HERE, and specify which article. Please read the commenting rules before you post a comment.

Author: Bill Gabbert

After working full time in wildland fire for 33 years, he continues to learn, and strives to be a Student of Fire.

One thought on “NFPA report about vegetation fires”

  1. For NFPA……..not a bad document

    Plenty of number crunching and some good data which I am sure folk would refute

    All in all, just as good as any Fed GTR, Research Notes, that come out of Federal forest and fire research documentation…….


Comments are closed.