Escaped Prescribed Fire Law and Legal Definition

Prescribed fire means a fire burning under a set of specified conditions which will accomplish certain planned resource management objectives. Such fire is allowed to burn within the requirements of federal or State laws, regulations, or permits. Escaped prescribed fire means a prescribed fire which has either exceeded the prescription or has rekindled after it has been declared to be out. [36 CFR 211.5].

A prescribed fire that exceeds, or is anticipated to exceed, one or more prescription parameters and/or holding capability, and cannot be maintained within prescription with project funds is a wildfire. Once an escaped prescribed fire has been declared a wildfire, it cannot be redesignated as a prescribed fire. [McDougal v. United States Forest Serv., 195 F. Supp. 2d 1229, 1237 (D. Or. 2002)].