Prescribed fire liability factsheet: standards of care by state

Prescribed fire liability standards vary from state to state and legal terms can sometimes be confusing. This fact sheet describes the different standards of care applied in prescribed burning‐related lawsuits.

Resistance to the use of prescribed fire is strong among many private land managers despite the advantages it offers for maintaining fire-prone ecosystems. Often, managers who are aware of the benefits of using prescribed fire as a management tool avoid using it because of fear of liability for damages that may result from an escaped fire or smoke.