Open navigation


Wildfire in the forest

Wildland fires are a serious threat to lives and property in the U.S. The combination of drought, warmer temperatures, high winds and an excess of dried vegetation in forests and grasslands has made fire seasons progressively worse over the past 50 years. And, in the last decade, wildfires have burned over 80 million acres of these lands. 

Facts and figures
  • According to NIFC, 2016 saw more than 67,000 wildfires burn over 5.5 million acres. The south led the nation with nearly 1.6 million acres burned.
  • A total of 4,312 structures were destroyed by wildfires in 2016, including more than 3,000 homes and more than 70 commercial buildings. Tennessee accounted for the highest number of structures lost in one state in 2016 with more than 2,000 residences and 53 commercial structures destroyed; California was second with 754 residences and 12 commercial structures destroyed.
  • There were 1,251 large or significant wildfires reported in 2016 (40,000 acres or more).
  • The National Association of State Foresters (NASF) cites more than 72,000 U.S. communities are at risk from wildfires.
  • View our map to see current wildfire activity across the U.S.

Dr. Jack Cohen, Fire Science Researcher with the USDA Forest Service, explains current research about how homes ignite during wildfires, and the actions that homeowners can take to help their home survive the impacts of flames and embers. 

Available training

NFPA's two-day "Assessing Structure Ignition Potential from Wildfire" training is delivered by experienced wildland fire specialists and focuses on both the physical and behavioral sciences behind successful wildfire mitigation. It’s also the only national standardized training that offers factual solutions and action strategies regarding modern wildfire mitigation. Are you interested in bringing training on this subject to your facility? Get more information, or request a quote.

Firewise USA™

Firewise logoThe Firewise USA Program encourages local solutions for safety by involving homeowners in taking individual responsibility for preparing their homes for the risk of wildfire. Firewise is sponsored by the NFPA and the USDA Forest Service.

Fire Adapted Communities (FAC) is a collaborative approach coordinated by NFPA and the USDA Forest Service that provides comprehensive resources to all those who play a role in wildfire education, planning and action.

News from our Fire Break blog

In This Section