top human forest fire causes

Top Human Forest Fire Causes

Human caused fires make up more than half of all the wildfires in Canada each year. These wildland fires are also deemed as more destructive than fires caused by nature. Below we outline just what behaviours are the main causes of these fires. 

Methods of Human-Caused Forest Fires


Discarded cigarettes used to be the leading cause of forest fires, and while this has decreased in recent years as they are now made to avoid sparking fires when not put out correctly, they still account for a number of fires, especially during fire seasons. 


A campfire can turn from relaxing to devastating in a few moments. They typically become out of control because those who built them have no way to put them out or fail to extinguish them properly before leaving or going to sleep. This allows the fire to re-ignite and potentially spread uncontrollably. 

To avoid this be sure to always:

  • Have water on hand to put out the fire if it grows out of control. 
  • Don’t keep firewood next to the fire, leave it a safe distance away to prevent the fire from spreading.  
  • Build a fire ring out of metal or stone.
  • Extinguish it to the point where it is no longer smoking, smoldering, or crackling. 

Cars, Trucks & Trailers

There are several ways vehicles can cause a spark that, in turn, catches fire.

  • Fires can start when chains from a trailer drag on the ground and throw off sparks.
  • A tire blowout from improper tire pressure can also cause a wildfire. 
  • Worn brake pads with metal on metal contact can throw off a spark. 
  • Parking or driving on dry grass and vegetation, especially in high fire season, can start a fire. 

To prevent this, drivers should keep their vehicles maintained, check for fuel leaks, check tire pressure, and secure trailer chains at all times. 

Fireworks or Smoke Bombs

Fireworks, smoke bombs and even sparklers can cause fires when set off incorrectly or around dry grass. In 2018 the National Fire Protection Association stated that an estimated 19,500 fires were started from fireworks alone. As well, in 2020, 7,000 acres were destroyed from a fire started by a gender reveal smoke bomb. 

It’s no question whether fireworks are dangerous or not, and the best way to protect yourself and the environment is to leave the fireworks shows to the professionals. 

Read more of our tips of what you can do to prevent wildfire.


When Fires Do Occur We’re Here to Help

Backed by over 20 years of experience in wildland firefighting. We help teams with assessment, reporting, implementation and equipment. 

Learn More

About the Author

By thinkprofits / Administrator, bbp_keymaster on Jan 25, 2021