Last modified on Oct 14, 2016

Fire Terminology

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The rapid oxidation of a fuel resulting in the release of heat, light and other byproducts.


The discipline of using the principles of fire behavior and its effects on life or materials to create appropriate controls on the use of fire, or to resist its ignition and spread.


Dangerous accumulation of flammable fuels in wildland areas usually referring to vegetation or the flammable materials that may be ignited by the various fire risks or cause fires to increase in intensity or rate of spread.


A tactical, site specific measurement of the factors which affect fire behavior, fire suppression capability and effectiveness, structure survivability in a wildfire situation, firefighter and resident safety, etc. (Harrell).


A broad, strategic analysis whicassessment parameters, focuses more on a matrix of fuels, slope and weather (The Fire Environment), which pose a conflagration potential an influenced by fuel bed continuity, access, open space, proximity to other hazardous areas, etc. “Fire Hazard Classification” is an integral part of the State Fire Plan (Harrell). h, while using many of the


Various methods by which existing fire hazards can be reduced in a certain area, such as fuel breaks, non-combustible roofing, chimney screens, etc.


A planning and regulatory activity (typically conducted by a local agency such as a city or county) which provides criteria for what kinds, how many and under what conditions development or other activities should be regulated in areas of various hazard classification (Harrell).


The distribution of information to the media on ongoing fires.


The business process used to define values at risk, focus efforts to mitigate potential losses; a framework for minimizing losses.


The practices used to keep the combination of heat, fuel and oxidizer from continuing to threaten life or property.


The development and distribution of policy, practices and publication procedures to targeted user groups in order for them to take appropriate action through behavior modification.


The actions taken by the Authority Having Jurisdiction (AHJ) to assure that acts, omissions or specific environment requirements set forth in statutes or regulations are cohered to by those being held responsible.


Codes and Standards; Data Collection; Grants; Education; Land Use Planning; and Licensing, Listing, and Certification. Also, includes ignition management to reduce large loss and damage.


The use of fire engineering, education and enforcement principles to support the practices to reduce the probability of consequence from unwanted fires.


Examination of specific topics and data that have not been evaluated thoroughly, in order to prescribe future engineering, education or enforcement needs.


The policies, practices and procedures used to limit fire losses in specific targeted areas using of all alternatives to minimize losses.


Development of the infrastructure to respond effectively once a fire occurs.


A source of ignition of fire hazards.


Environment created in and around a building to resist the intrusion of fire.


The use of fire prevention engineering practices to reduce fuels, create access and reduce potential of ignition.


That portion of the year, generally 6 to 8 months in the summer and fall in California, declared such by the responsible public agency fire administrator. Declaration is based on fuel and weather conditions conducive to the ignition and spread of wildland fires.


Any natural or constructed barrier utilized to segregate, stop and control the spread of fire or to provide a control line from which to work.


Combustible and capable of being easily set on fire or kindled.


An area where the volume of flammable vegetation has been reduced, providing reduced fire intensity and duration.


Strip from which forest fuels and woody vegetation have been reduced by thinning, pruning or removal well ahead of time to slow down or stop a wildfire or to provide a control line from which to work.


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