Write for Wildfire

Wildfire  is a bimonthly magazine and website for the global wildland fire community. Wildfire keeps professional and community readers informed on emerging issues and resources in fire management, wildfire science and ecology, health and safety, and leadership. The magazine is primarily written by leaders and fire-management practitioners in the wildland and urban interface communities, who share their practical experience and knowledge as they examine issues key to our communities and profession.

Wildfire Magazine, a publication of the International Association of Wildland Fire, is the only publication focused solely on both the global and local challenge of managing wildfire. Wildfire is a primary source of news and education for the industry and highlights IAWF’s role as a key facilitator serving the wildland fire community. The magazine provides a membership benefit by maintaining a dialogue among members but we also reach out to potential members and a diverse audience concerned with the management and impacts of wildland fire.

We publish articles on wildland-fire related issues and experiences in a variety of media — in print and online and as hybrid print/online.  Topic areas include firefighter and public safety; human dimensions; wildland fire operations and leadership; fire research and technology innovations; fire and aviation; fire ecology; professional training; fire-related policy (local/regional and national/international), interagency and international cooperation; community preparedness and awareness; fire prevention and education; fire weather and climate change; and the wildland urban interface.

We seek clear writing built on accurate research and authoritative experience; our writers include journalists, fire managers, researchers, and first-person observers. But regardless of your writing or photography experience, if you bring fresh insight to a topic or fire challenge, our editors (the Wildfire Magazine Editorial Board and our Contributing Editors) will help you craft a successful article. We do ask that you are committed to the revision process.

Wildfire writer is a story-teller who writes in a conversational yet trustworthy tone, offering fact-based and impartial analysis while also conveying the spirit and concerns of our profession. A Wildfire writer need not be working in the profession but should have a deep understanding of wildland fire, bush fire, prescribed fire and fire use, as well as a working relationship with his/her sources.

Our Audience

President Barack Obama views wildfire damage in Colorado Springs, CO (June 29, 2012). (White House Photo by Pete Souza.)

Our readership is diverse and global, ranging from government employees to small business owners, from volunteer firefighters to concerned community members. More than 80% of our readers are in the fire service and engaged in the key issues and trends in this profession. Readers seek articles that explore new ideas, highlight successful operations or new technologies, or detail methods that promote safe and sound practices. Increasingly, Wildfire Magazine is reaching wildland urban interface homeowners, providing another venue for outreach and education efforts.

  • Wildfire has a core circulation of 2000 readers, centered on IAWF members and regular distribution at wildfire and fire science conferences, with significant pass-along readership.
  • Our primary readers are leaders who are working in the wildland fire profession as incident commanders, fire staff officers, fire chiefs and engineers, managers, fire ecologists, researchers, small business owners, prevention educators, and firefighters.
  • Our audience is interested in finding ways to increase their effectiveness on the ground as well as in their roles as managers of organizations with responsibility for emergency response, safety, community engagement, and natural resources.
  • If you can share an idea or practice that solves a local fire issue, our readers will be better informed for solving their own issues. What works locally can inform our global problem-solving.

Submission of Proposals or Manuscripts

To write an article for Wildfire, start by sending us a proposal. Summarize your topic in a lead paragraph followed by a few paragraphs that outline key points you seek to develop in the article. Conclude with a paragraph detailing your how your expertise or experience support your proposed topic. We accept complete manuscripts as well.

We prefer that you submit your proposal (or the full article) as text within your email, though we accept email attachments (in Word-compatible or RTF format) to [email protected]. For articles, please provide a short author biography and an attached author’s photo (300 dpi). You may also submit an article directly to our manuscript review system — Wildfire Magazine at Submittable.com — which will ask you to register and log in before you can submit.

Proposals and manuscripts are acknowledged upon receipt. Articles are peer reviewed by two or more members of the Wildfire Editorial Advisory Board and/or Contributing Editors.

Authors of accepted proposals and articles will  receive an invitation to join our publishing system. This invitation does not guarantee publication, as the editing process must be completed with Editorial Board approval.

Once your article is edited and approved, you will be notified by a Wildfire editor of the type of publication (print and/or, online), publication date and additional requirements or further instructions regarding your submission. All submitted manuscripts will be considered for print and/or online publication. Simultaneous submissions (sending your query or manuscript to more than one publication) are discouraged.

The author must provide a mailing address, phone number and email address. If the article has multiple authors, one author must be appointed as lead correspondent.

Articles We Seek

What makes Wildfire special is that those who work in the field are the experts who write most of our articles. Our readers are interested in your experiences, point of view, and technical expertise. However, we ask you as writers to keep a few tricks in mind when submitting an article. If an outline has been agreed upon, please stick with it. If you want to reorganize it or add new information, let your lead editor know. Adopt a conversational style. Be certain that your first two paragraphs encourage us to continue reading. Use technical terms with authority (and explain when needed), use acronyms sparingly (and spell out the full agency or phrase first). Be sure to define any terms you think might be obscure or specialized. Strive to explain technical procedures in clear, simple sentences, and organize your flow of ideas logically.

  • Feature Article lengths range from 1200 — 2500 words (longer articles considered; some may be digested in print with complete version online).
  • Column contributions range from 800 — 1200 words. We seek first-person narratives for our “After Action” column and as feature articles.
  • Department contributions range from 350 — 850 words. Department topics include Fire Science Briefs, Safety, Human Dimensions, Technology, Tools & Techniques, and Solutions (focused on first-person case studies).


“Belrose, Sydney,” 2012 Photo Contest Winner, by Anthony Clark.

Submit photographs of 4-5 MB in size in PNG, JPG or TIF format at 300 dpi (preferred) as a separate attachment (not embedded in the Word file), or upload to the Wildfire publishing system. Ensure that you have copyright or Creative Commons distribution rights for any images you submit. Identify photo credit for any image you did not author. Links to videos and multimedia resources are also encouraged for online publications. If no images are supplied, the editor may select stock images to illustrate your article.

For images larger than 20 mb, notify the editor; we’ll send instructions for the upload process, on acceptance of your manuscript. Consider submitting links to graphics, video, audio, or narrated audio-video presentations for our online magazine.

Wildfire Magazine frequently requires photographs of wildfire management activities. If you have a portfolio of photos, please contact us at [email protected].

Editing Process

After your manuscript has been received, your assigned editor may ask you to supply additional information or to rewrite or revise sections of your manuscript. Such requests will come from the advisory board or magazine editorial staff. Editors and reviewers will respect your writing style and seek to retain as much of the character of the original writing as possible. If any major changes are warranted, you will be contacted to discuss the matter. Edits to your writing are designed to make your writing more clear and accurate and to ensure that your meaning will engage the reader.

Before your manuscript goes to press, page proofs (or text-only proofs) will be provided to ensure final author approval. Please review carefully and check the text for technical accuracy, typos, and errors in facts. Make sure the editor has not inadvertently misinterpreted or misrepresented your original ideas or material. Also, answer any questions the editor has included. Please try to limit your changes to repair of facts; this is not the time for rewriting the entire article. Corrections must be returned within 3 days, as your article is now in the production flow and time is critical. If you don’t respond prior to the 3-day response deadline, the article will be published as edited.

Support for your Role as a Wildfire Author

Philip De Bruyn lights a research burn that will later be correlated to fire intensity mapping provided by MODIS satellites. (Photo: Ron Steffens.)

Writers in Wildfire Magazine are leaders in the field. Your publication in the magazine supports our profession and advances a dialogue between fire managers and the communities and landscapes we serve. In return for your service, writers published in the print version of Wildfire magazine will receive 6 copies of the issue in which your article or photographs are printed. Online authors will be listed in an Author’s List and will have “Author” status.

Our authors share their articles as a commitment to furthering the wildand fire/bushfire profession. In some cases, for articles that require in-depth reporting or travel, Wildfire may pay expenses and offer a limited stipend/rights payment for assigned photographers.