Fire Management Working Paper 17/E


Fire management
Voluntary guidelines:
Principles and strategic actions

Rome, Italy

Forest Resources Development Service
Forest Management Division
Forestry Department


The Fire Management Working Papers report on issues addressed in the FAO work programme. These working papers do not reflect any official position of FAO. Please refer to the FAO website ( for official information.

The purpose of these papers is to provide early information on ongoing activities and programmes and to stimulate discussion.

Comments and feedback are welcome.

For further information, please contact:

Pieter van Lierop, Forestry Officer (Fire Management)
Forest Resources Development Service
Forest Management Division, Forestry Department
Viale delle Terme di Caracalla
00153 Rome, Italy
e-mail: [email protected]


Jim Carle, Chief
Forest Resources Development Service
Forest Management Division, Forestry Department
Viale delle Terme di Caracalla
00153 Rome, Italy
e-mail: [email protected]

Bibliographic citation:

FAO. 2006. Fire management: voluntary guidelines. Principles and strategic actions. Fire Management Working Paper 17. Rome (also available at

Photo credit:

Prescribed fire management, Cuarto Cienegas, Mexico, courtesy Ron Myers, The Nature Conservancy, USA.

FAO 2006


(Download complete document - 1 MB)



Acronyms and abbreviations

1. Introduction
1.1 Background
1.2 Rationale
1.3 Objectives
1.4 Relationship to other international instruments
1.5 Implementation of the principles and strategic actions
1.6 Diversity of contexts and special requirements

2. Cross-sectoral issues
2.1 Livelihoods and poverty
2.2 Fire as a tool in sustainable land use and resource management
2.3 Impacts on human health and security
2.4 Safety considerations for firefighters and civilians
2.5 Sustainable ecosystems and environmental impacts
2.6 Carbon and climate change
2.7 Knowledge management
2.8 Science and technology
2.9 Education, training and public awareness
2.10 Legal, policy, institutional and financial frameworks
2.11 Cooperation and partnerships

3. Principles
3.1 Social and cultural
3.2 Economic
3.3 Environmental
3.4 Institutional
3.5 Enhanced fire management capacity

4. Strategic actions
4.1 Fire and resource management planning
4.2 Fire management in natural or protected areas and reserves
4.3 Fire awareness and education
4.4 Fire prevention
4.5 Fire danger rating and early warning systems
4.6 Fire preparedness, including technical training
4.7 Pre-fire-season activities
4.8 Fire detection, communications and dispatching
4.9 Initial attack/action
4.10 Large-fire suppression and management
4.11 Managing multiple incidents
4.12 Fuel management
4.13 Planned fire
4.14 Burned area restoration and rehabilitation
4.15 Monitoring and assessment

Fire ecology
Fire history
Atmospheric chemistry, climatology, remote sensing
Fire management
International fire management guidelines
Web portals on international cooperation in fire management


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