TODAYS FIRE DANGER LEVEL
High fire danger means all fine dead fuels ignite readily and fires start easily from most causes. Unattended brush and camp fires are likely to escape. Fires spread rapidly and short distance spotting is common. Fires may become serious and their control difficult unless they are attacked successfully while small. Outdoor burning should be restricted to early morning and late evening hours.
(Sources: U.S. Forest Service and Homeland1 News)
Research conducted by the U.S. Forest Service and Homeland1 News indicates that wildfires have repeatedly demonstrated the destructive power to cause the loss of life and tremendous damage to property and resources. Wildland arson, specifically, “makes up the majority of fire starts in some parts of the United States,” and is the second leading cause of fires on federal forest land in the eastern part of the nation.
The Emergency Management and Response—Information Sharing and Analysis Center (EMR-ISAC) confirmed that wildland arson is classified as one subset of arson, and the third most common type of arson behind residential and educational structures. The research substantiates that “arson is a leading cause of wildfire in several heavily populated states, including California and Florida.”
According to Homeland1 News, educating the leadership of the fire service, arson investigators, and law enforcement regarding wildland arson and pyroterrorism is critical to understanding these threats. Furthermore, fire managers should integrate closely with arson investigators and law enforcement to initiate and enhance prevention measures.
Homeland1 News recommends the development of a cooperative regional terrorism early warning center to increase the capability to prevent pyroterrorist attacks by the timely sharing of information, and to conduct contingency planning to focus on rapid identification of arson-induced fires. Subsequently, fire behavior analysts and arson investigators can establish reporting links to these centers in the event arson wildfire cases follow any discernable pattern.
Arson prevention programs and training are available at the U.S. Fire Administration website. More information about wildfires can be seen at the Fire Protection Engineering article titled “Wildfire: Past, Present, and Future.”