The Advantages of Fire Suppression Vs. Fire Use


According to National Geographic, wildfires break out in the United States about 100,000 times each year. Wildfires are also known as wild land fires and forest fires, which are fueled by the dry underbrush as well as the dry, hot and windy weather conditions. It is often a dangerous and challenging issue when controlling and extinguishing these fires. Most often techniques used by the firefighters and other emergency responders are fire suppression or fire use, although U.S Forest Service believes that both of the methods can be used on the same type of fire. Here is the information for both of the tactics.


  1. The most basic when a wildlife burning happens is that course of action is to suppress or extinguish the fire. This will limit the impact of the surrounding infrastructure, ecosystems and people. The firefighters and responders use several methods such as dropping five-retardant chemicals from plane, clearing away vegetation near the areas that could become the fuel for the wildfires and dousing the flame with water from powerful hoses.
  2. The main goal is to always put out the fire. But, in contrast to fire management strategy or fire use is to allow the fire to continue burning in a controlled way. This will include the assessment of how long and how far you should allow the fire to burn and continue spreading, which is often difficult to make.
  3. The fire suppression’s goal is to eliminate the fire as quickly as possible. These rapid actions can help to increase the effectiveness of a fire suppression program that can result to lower-rate of death, environmental destruction and property loss. For fire use, it does not stress on the speed of action, but rather on slower and longer term solutions for quenching wildfires.
  4. Fire use can be implemented as to help the environmental conditions in certain areas such as return nutrients to the underlying soil by burning dead and decaying organic matter. For wildfires, the burning process will remove any harmful and diseased animals or plants. Groups such as Fire Use Management, for example will set wildfires purposely or known as prescribed fires to achieve beneficial environmental conditions.
  5. In comparison, allowing a fire to run its course through a fire use is a better option as it does not require the firefighters and responders to directly engage the roaring flames. Fire Use Management Teams only light the fires in specific and ideal conditions for prescribed fires tactic. They would also monitor conditions such as temperature, winds and humidity.

Additional Reading:

The Development of a CFD Based Simulator for Water Mist Fire Suppression Systems: the Development of the Fire Submodel

Design of Special Hazards and Fire Alarm Systems
An Investigation of Factors of Relevance During Explosion Suppression by Water Sprays (Offshore Technology Report)