What Factors Affect Burning?

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Factors such as topography, fuel types and weather affect fire behavior. There are other factors, including fuel load, that affect both unregulated and prescribed burns.

Environmental factors are an important consideration that relate to fire behavior. Whether the burn is planned as a measure to mitigate hazard or if the fire is an unplanned event, a number of factors influence the way in which the fire will act:

  • Topography: fire behaves differently across different types of terrain
  • Fuel density: fire will move quickly across dry, dense fuel
  • Weather: wind speed causes fire to move in various ways

The type, dryness, and availability of fuel in particular is a primary factor in determining fire behavior.