What are the causes of most forest fires? 

Well, people are. The only natural cause of fire is lightning, which was responsible for about 45% of all forest fires in the 10 -year period from 1990 to 1999. Humans were responsible for the remaining 55% of fires that MNR fire fighters were sent to put out.


  • Recreationists (campers, anglers, berry pickers etc) and rural residents cause more than half of the human-caused forest fire. About one third of all human-caused fires are started by people who are careless with their campfires.
  • Residents burning grass, brush or rubbish start another 25%.
  • Railway activities, forest companies and other industries working in the forest cause approximately another 15%.
  • There are also people who set forest fires intentionally for whatever reason, and these have accounted for about 5% of the forest fires in this period.