USFA Releases Outdoor Fires Topical Report

The U.S. Fire Administration (USFA) has issued a special report examining the causes and characteristics of outdoor fires. The report, titled "Outdoor Fires," was developed by the National Fire Data Center, part of USFA.

Based on 2004 to 2006 data from the National Fire Incident Reporting System and the National Fire Protection Association, and part of the USFA’s Topical Fire Report Series, the report shows an estimated 655,200 outdoor fires occur annually in the United States resulting in 50 civilian deaths, 875 civilian injuries, and $154 million in property loss.

According to the report, outdoor fires peak in March, April, and July, and account for 41 percent of all fires in the United States. Together, trash or rubbish fires (47 percent) and natural vegetation fires (44 percent) account for 91 percent of outdoor fires. In 73 percent of outdoor fires, organic materials such as crops, grass, and trees are the items first ignited. Fires that are started unintentionally are the leading cause of outdoor fires.

USFA said these short topical reports are designed to explore facets of the United States fire problem as depicted through data collected in NFIRS. Each topical report briefly addresses the nature of the specific fire or fire-related topic, highlights important findings from the data, and may suggest other resources to consider for further information. Also included are recent examples of fire incidents that demonstrate some of the issues addressed in the report or that put the report topic in context.

To view the report, click here.

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