Wildfire Magazine started out as the no-fuss newsletter Hotsheet in October 1992 (below) with a proposal to become a forest fire magazine that would complement the growing list of publications published by the International Association of Wildland Fire. These included the scientific journal, an international directory, an international bibliography, a monthly bibliography newsletter and an association newsletter.
The magazine proposal stated an aim:
This will be a monthly magazine directed at field level personnel involved in wildland fire. It will be an international magazine.
It’s purpose is twofold:
- Educate. Inform and educate entry level firefighters in technique, issues and technology. Keep readers of all levels informed of developments, new technology, and other news.
- Network. Bridge communications between fire managers in various parts of the world. Provide a forum for regional, national and international issues.
Hotsheet very soon became the color magazine Wildfire – in late 1994.
Research projects were a priority with many longer articles – with abstracts and long lists of references – often taking up much of the publication. These were gradually replaced by more operationally focussed articles on recent large fires, new training methods or opinions on fire management policy and funding.
The magazine featured profiles of inspirational fire researchers and operational managers and staff. The inaugural editions were quick to grasp the need to share content from around the globe, with feature articles and news snippets on fire operations and research in Russia, Brazil, Indonesia, Greece, Australia, Canada, Bosnia, Lebanon, New Zealand, Italy, Spain, Germany, and from all corners of the United States.
Early feature articles included
- The launch of FireNet – an international information exchange network on a world wide electronic network
- An analysis of news media coverage of wildfires
- The economic impact of fire on forest resources
- Smokejumping – how it began
- IAWF becoming active in Russia
- The truth about Smokey Bear
- Rethinking how fuels are heated and dried
- The water-scooping aircraft option for California.
Future editions of Wildfire in 2017 will draw on content from early editions and see how we have gone about the task of “uniting the global wildland fire community.”
From all these voices, we’ll explore how we’ve changed: Are we still talking about the same issues? How far has technology advanced? What have we learnt and where are we heading?
— David Bruce, Chair, Wildfire Magazine Editorial Board