Like any phenomenon, fire may be categorized in many ways. In terms of physical settings, fires may be broadly categorized into wildland fires, rural fires, suburban fires, and urban fires. Wildland fires occur on largely undeveloped land, such as those in national parks and state forests. Rural fires occur on sparsely developed land, usually associated with areas used for farming or recreation. Suburban fires occur in areas that, although comprised of mixed-usage development, are predominately residential in nature. Urban fires are those occurring in densely populated areas, usually involving a mixture of commercial, industrial, transportation, mercantile, entertainment, and residential development.

The concept of urban was, in the past, largely associated with population density. Greater numbers of people living together created an environment with unique characteristics, including ...

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