"Through decades of study, the incidence of fire has followed distinct patterns and trends that are seasonal in nature. Both natural occurrences and human behaviors vary with the seasons, and both are factors that affect the causes and damaging effects of fires. Changes in weather and climatological events can lengthen a season or rush the onset of a new one. Nevertheless, the individual seasons, and the U.S. population, do present certain fire profiles that are repeated year after year and can, in some measure, be predicted. In 2000, an estimated 1.7 million fires in the United States claimed more than 4,000 lives, injured 22,350 people, and caused $11.2 billion in property damage.1 The three leading causes of fire in 2000-incendiary, cooking, and open flame-are greatly affected by seasonal human activities. This report explores fire patterns by each season in 2000; both the changes in incidence and the causes of fire are discussed. For purposes of this report, the seasons are measured in 3-month blocks: winter is December through February, spring is March through May, summer is June through August, and fall is September through November."
U.S. Fire Administration: http://www.usfa.dhs.gov/
Topical Fire Report Series (June 2004), v.3 no.6