Apart from the US and Australia, very large wildfires have featured in recent years in other areas of the globe, notably Canada and the fire-prone Mediterranean countries.
Governments and firefighting authorities in key areas around the world continue to be challenged with the economic and social issues of large-scale fire management. This is not hard to understand when you look more closely at the extent of the wildfires and the sheer costs associated with their suppression.
During the 2006 fire season, the United States alone experienced more than 96,000 incidents and almost 9.9 million acres were burned due to wildfires, with approximately 4.9 million acres burned on non-Federal lands.
Nationwide in 2006, the acres burned were 131 percent greater than the acres burned in 2000, almost 1 million acres greater than 2005; and 65 percent greater than the ten-year average. $1.5 billion was spent in fire suppression costs, on over 2 million acres burned. Nearly $400 million was spent on 20 of the largest fires.
During 2006, the Nation had 14 fires topping 100,000 acres in size, five of these occurred in National Forests.
The intensity and frequency of these fires is not expected to decrease in the foreseeable future.