Definition of wildfire in English:



  • 1A large, destructive fire that spreads quickly over woodland or brush.

    • ‘A diverse mix of nearly 400 people discussed ways to improve forest health and address wildfire risks through locally driven efforts.’
    • ‘Wildfire has destroyed forests across the West.’
    • ‘More and more western communities surrounded by forests are responding to the threat of destructive wildfire with a wide range of economic and policy changes.’
    • ‘Courageous ranch workers had to do their own backfiring, creating a line of burned brush so that the wildfire would not spread across it to other areas, McCullough said.’
    • ‘Franklin knows that the hogan project will not solve all the problems for either the Navajo community or the overstocked forests still threatened by wildfire.’
    • ‘A different kind of threat tonight in Colorado, where a massive wildfire is spreading.’
    • ‘Basic information such as how hot a fire burned within its perimeters seems essential to guide management actions for rehabilitating burned areas and reducing the risk of destructive wildfire.’
    • ‘In 1980, what had begun as a small controlled burn to create nesting ground for the bird turned into a massive wildfire, killing a Forest Service worker and engulfing the small village of Mack Lake.’
    • ‘The wildfire near Burbank, California, is spreading and about 60 homeowners have evacuated.’
    • ‘The Cedar Fire in San Diego County, which consumed almost 300,000 acres, burned 1,500 homes and killed 14 people, is the single worst wildfire in California history.’
    • ‘A broad cross-section of the community criticised local government, fire and land management authorities at a public forum last night, for not doing enough to stem the spread of wildfire.’
    • ‘Prolonged dry periods and seasonal high winds in spring help create ideal conditions for wildfire to spread quickly through highly-flammable moorland undergrowth.’
    • ‘Reforestation is an essential step toward restoring forest areas damaged by wildfire.’
    • ‘Historically, wildfire checked the spread of redcedar.’
    • ‘Though fires burn quickly anyway - a 1935 wildfire in the Ocala National Forest burned 35,000 acres in just under four hours - man wants to regulate.’
    • ‘The wildfire quickly spreads, consuming the thick, dried-out vegetation and almost everything else in its path.’
    • ‘Now there's movement to reduce the risk of destructive wildfire by increasing conditions for wildfires of renewal.’
    • ‘The issues of ecosystem management, forest health, and wildfire dominated the work of the Center in its first few years.’
    • ‘Tonight a massive wildfire to the northwest of Los Angeles has spread to more than 20,000 acres.’
    • ‘This is not surprising given the warm winter and early spring, said Larry McHale, West Vancouver supervisor for forestry, trails and wildfire.’
  • 2historical A combustible liquid such as Greek fire that was readily ignited and difficult to extinguish, used especially in warfare.

    • ‘Aegon bellowed as he poured wildfire on Stokeworth.’
  • 3

    less common term for will-o'-the-wisp
    • ‘The moving lights which are called ball lightning when they occur indoors become wildfire or will-o'-the-wisps in the open air.’


  • spread like wildfire

    • Spread with great speed.

      ‘the news had spread like wildfire’
      • ‘Distance learning is spreading like wildfire.’
      • ‘Sushi joints have been spreading like wildfire over the past few years, usurping the spots where short-lived soup and noodle places once stood and almost hoisting maki and sashimi into food-group status.’
      • ‘Although the internet has dominated the discussion and study of new technologies, mobile telephony is the innovation that seems to be spreading like wildfire around the globe.’
      • ‘Normally such riots on such an emotive issue would spread like wildfire across the country.’
      • ‘China won't fully open its financial markets until the global community comes up with a workable mechanism that can contain financial disasters and prevent them from spreading like wildfire.’
      • ‘As odd as it might seem, the idea catches on and spreads like wildfire.’
      • ‘Sometimes it's word of mouth, playground chat that spreads like wildfire.’
      • ‘If they come across something good, word of mouth spreads like wildfire.’
      • ‘Experts say it spreads like wildfire with schools, nursing homes, hospitals and work places expected to be particularly badly hit.’
      • ‘This group relies heavily on word-of-mouth to decide where to go next - and the word spreads like wildfire.’
      grow unchecked, grow profusely, run riot, spread like wildfire, ramble, straggle
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