Jill Bronaugh
Public Information Manager
Office of the State Fire Marshal
800 SW Jackson, Suite 104
Topeka, KS 66612-1216

Prevent Wildfire Arson

User Not Found | May 02, 2016

The Office of the State Fire Marshal (OSFM) in Kansas joins the United States Fire Administration (USFA) in dedicating the week of May 1-7 as Arson Awareness Week. The purpose for this week is the recognition, awareness and understanding of the crime of arson - one of our nation’s most dangerous and costly threats to people and property.

The theme for this year’s Arson Awareness Week is “Prevent Wildfire Arson.” The goal of this year’s campaign is to provide citizens of the state with information and strategies to combat intentionally-set wildfires in the state.

According to the USFA, 23 percent of wildfires reported across the county were arson-caused. USFA also reports that wildfires in the U.S. resulted in over $3 billion in damages.

Arson is the willful, malicious, intentional and/or reckless burning of property. Wildfire arson takes place on underdeveloped wildland or uncultivated land comprised of forest, brush or grassland.

To prevent wildfire arson, it’s important to understand what motivates arsonists to commit this crime. The most common motives for wildfire arson include:

  • Curiosity - A misuse of fire that is most often associated with juveniles.
  • Vandalism – Malicious mischief that may be associated with boredom, peer pressure, or even gang activity.
  • Concealing another Crime – Misuse of fire used to mask another crime such as burglary, larceny or murder.
  • Excitement – Most of these fires are nuisance fires but can escalate to home fires.
  • Revenge – The setting of a fire in retaliation for an actual or perceived injustice.
  • Insurance Fraud/Arson for Profit – A criminal method of obtaining money from a fire loss policy.
  • Wildland Firefighter Arson – Sometimes caused by a firefighter who gets paid to fight fires, giving them a financial incentive to start fires, and in other cases motivated by a “hero complex” in which firesetters set fires in order to warn others, potentially rescue trapped people, demonstrate their alertness, or save land from being burned.

Anyone with information on any arson should call 1-800-KS-CRIME or submit an information report online at For more arson prevention tips, visit the OSFM website: