7 Common Causes of Wildfires

7 Common Causes of Wildfires

7 Common Causes of Wildfires7 Common Causes of Wildfires

Wildfires are difficult to control when they start and wreak havoc on the environment, hurting man, wildlife, and nature. According to the National Park Service (NPS.gov), 90% of wildfires in the United States are caused by humans. It pays – on a national level – to know what we are doing that causes fires and take preventative actions against them. Here are some everyday actions that cause wildfires:

Leaving Campfires Unattended

Campfires are very popular year round, however, the majority of them are enjoyed in the summer months – a.k.a. wildfire season.  Unattended campfires are one of the main causes of wild fires. We must take precautions when enjoying a campfire and be prepared to implement ways to keep your campfire safe.

Burning Debris

Many people burn piles of debris that consist of landscaping, dead trees, etc. Some people do not follow the procedures set by the state and it can get out of control rather quickly. Be sure to get a burning permit and follow state/county procedure. California is known for its wildfires. They created a video for burning debris, click here to watch it.

Discarding Cigarettes

Cigarettes are an unfortunate habit of many Americans, and they represent a common cause of wildfires. It takes only a spark to set off a fire, and those who throw their cigarette butts out of the car window or throw it on the ground when they are outside are at risk of causing large-scale damage to the environment. If you are a smoker, use ashtrays and make sure each cigarette is completely out before you dispose of the butt.


Summers are a must for taking to the road and enjoying roaming around the country. What most people don’t realize is that a lot of wildfires are actually caused by vehicles. A vehicle or trailer can be a cause for ignition. Sources are improperly greased bearing failing catalytic converters, dragging trailer chains, and even flat tires and vehicles that have gone without regular maintenance. Before heading out on your road trip, be sure your vehicle is safe.


A major cause of wildfires are fireworks. They are very popular in the summer and available to almost everyone (both legally and illegally). If you enjoy hosting a good pyrotechnic show, be sure to set off your fireworks safely.


Mother Nature has been known to start wildfires with lightning. During a storm there are long-lasting hot lightning bolts. While they have less voltage than cold lightning bolts, they are longer and are more likely to start fires.

Wildfire season is here, so make sure to watch out for these and educate yourself on fire safety.  Fewer wildfires would be good for everyone.