n. Flaming or glowing fuel particles that can be carried naturally by wind, convection currents, or by gravity into unburned fuels (NWCG 2005).


  • Discussion


A firebrandís effectiveness in contributing to spot fires is driven by its size, which determines the distance it will travel. The firebrand must continue to burn as it is transported, still be a viable heat source when it lands, and land on a receptive fuelbed. Natural fuel, such as cone scales, grass clumps, bark flakes, parts of branchwood, and moss, constitute potential firebrand material (Andrews 1996).




While firebrands can be lofted from surface fires, they are much more common from torching trees, active crown fires, or accumulations of fuel. Firebrands and the spot fires they cause can be a major contributor to fire growth (Andrews 1996).


  • See Also

  • References

    • Andrews, P.L. 1996. Fire behavior. In: Pyne, S.J.; Andrews, P.L.; Laven, R.D. Introduction to Wildland Fire. 2d ed. New York, NY: John Wiley and Sons: Chapter 2.

    • National Wildfire Coordinating Group (NWCG). 2005. Glossary of Wildland Fire Terminology. [Online]. Available:


  • Notes

    • Author 

      Charles W. McHugh, Fire Spatial Analyst

      Rocky Mountain Research Station