Click here to edit subtitle

Wildland fires can be catastrophic for forests but also for homeowners and their property.  Fires are often caused by natural factors, but by far, the largest cause of wildfires is man-related.  Learning about wildfire prevention and what you can do to help will reduce the number of fires.  Preventing forest fires is everyone’s responsibility!  The Northeast Forest Fire Protection Commission's Prevention and Education Working Team (PEWT) offers several ways to take part.  See the Prevention section for more information.


APRIL 18 - 24, 2021

New Hampshire Governor Chris Sununu reads the “Wildfire Awareness Week” declaration to the crowd and the media, with Smokey Bear standing by…

Since 2000, the NFFPC Compact has declared the third week of April as “Wildfire Awareness Week.” This effort has helped bring awareness to people that conduct debris burns in the spring. We encourage you to continue with this tradition within your own state / province / National Forest.

If you can get your Governor or Premier to sign a formal declaration for “Wildfire Awareness Week,” it could help reduce the amount of human-caused fires between March and April. We also encourage you to contact local media, post info on social media sites and plan virtual events to help with the campaign.

Comments in support of “Wildfire Awareness Week:”

  • People not familiar with fire assume that most wildfires only occur in the summer, but a lot of wildfires occur in the spring, before the vegetation “greens up.” In general, spring fires are fast-moving grass fires, but can still escape and threaten structures, property and lives.
  • The tendency is for homeowners to burn their brush and fallen limbs from winter storms in the spring, before the grass starts growing. Unfortunately, the springtime is when we have the lowest relative humidity / highest afternoon temperatures and are also likely to have high winds. Those environmental conditions, combined with tons of dead / dry grass and twigs / small branches, are a recipe for a wildfire.
  • In Maine, “Wildfire Awareness Week,” also coincides with April vacation week, when school kids are outside and could start fires.

There are a lot of variables (weather and amount of snowpack) that effect when the peak of spring wildfire season occurs. The graph below shows the number of spring wildfires in Maine between 2016 and 2020. The peak of spring wildfire season lines up pretty well with the third week in April. When is the peak of your spring fire season?

In Maine, 60% of the wildfires in the last five years occurred in the last two weeks of April.

When will spring fire season start in your state / province?


In the fall of 2020 FireSmart Canada introduced their new mascot, The FireSmart Fox. The fox needed a name, so a contest to name the new mascot was created. More than 500 submissions from across Canada were received and after careful consideration, Ember was selected as her new name.

Visit FireSmartFox to learn more about Ember.

If you would like to know more about FireSmart Canada visit