A wildfire is an out of control fire in the wilderness. It is often triggered by lightning or accidental fires caused by people. Most wildfires are caused accidentally by people including people smoking, ATV and equipment fires, campfires, fireworks, or fireplace or barbeque coals. They spread quickly through brush, trees, and homes. Most wildfires are in California in wild land settings with little rain. Heat, fuel, and oxygen make up the fire triangle which creates and maintains a fire. Wildfires are fought by wild land firefighters but they often receive help from other firefighters.

Deadliest in U.S. and World History:

• Peshtigo Fire

• Occurred in 1871 in Wisconsin

• Burned 1.2 million acres

• Killed 1,200 people

• Caused $169 million dollars in damage

• Caused by small fires used for land clearing that got out of control


• Make sure you have working smoke alarms with new batteries

• Have a fire extinguisher

• Remove leaves and branches from your yard that can catch on fire

• Don’t play with matches

• Listen for evacuation orders


• Call 911 if you see a fire

• Fill outdoor tubs, pools, and garbage cans with water

• Put important papers inside your car in the garage


• If you evacuated, don’t go home until officials tell you it’s safe

• Stay away from power lines because they can electrocute you

• Keep watch for smoke and sparks in your house


Evacuation orders: orders that you must leave and go somewhere safer

Electrocute: shock of electricity through your body that can injure or kill you

Source: FEMA: https://www.fema.gov/