Fire management is an essential part of sustainable forest management. This publication complements the Global Forest Resources Assessment 2005 (FRA 2005) as an in-depth thematic study on the incidence, impact and management of forest fires in different regions of the world. It was developed from 12 regional papers prepared within the framework of the Global Wildland Fire Network of the United Nations International Strategy for Disaster Reduction. It provides the best estimate of the global fire situation to date and gives a good indication of the scale of the impact of vegetation fires on society, on the economy and on the environment. This global assessment will be of interest not only to fire specialists, but also to policy-makers, forest managers and those involved in collecting reliable and current information on fire in different types of vegetation. It is an important contribution to FAO’s efforts to enhance international cooperation in fire management.