Difference Between Wildfire and Bushfire (With Table)

Bushfire and wildfire are two types of fires that spread due to different fuel loads. The bushfire is a kind of fire that is controllable. The wildfire spreads in a fast manner, which would destroy grassy areas in less time. Many people get confused between these two types of fires, but they are different in many aspects.

Wildfire vs Bushfire         

The main difference between wildlife and bushfire is that wildlife uses pine trees as fuel. On the other hand, bushfires use eucalyptus trees as fuel. The spreading ways of both wildfire and bushfire are different. The wildfire spread faster than bushfire. Bushfire is controllable, but controlling wildfire is herculean.

Wildfire generally happens in grassy areas. Wildfire is common in the United States, mainly in inflammable vegetation. Most of the time, the wildfires are unwanted and difficult to manage. There are many types of wildfire, and the type of wildfire depends on the vegetation. The fire can happen in both urban and rural areas. The nature of wildfire depends on weather conditions, availability of fuel, and area.

Bushfire is a common fire in East Australia that comes with a history of killing humans and animals. Bushfire brings a high risk of damaging areas and properties associated with it. The places with high temperatures or hot weather would catch bushfires very frequently. Strong wind is a big factor that affects the intensity of bushfires.

Comparison Table Between Wildfire and Bushfire                   

Parameters of Comparison




Mainly found in the United States

Mainly found in Australia

Fuel Requirement              

Pine trees are the main fuel sources

Eucalyptus trees are the main fuel sources


Risk is higher than bushfire                          

Risk is lower than wildfire


Speed is higher than bushfire

 Speed is lesser than wildfire


The fire is uncontrollable

The fire is controllable

What is Wildfire?

The fire is not easy to control and gets aggravated by heat or high temperature. The wildfire gets intense when it gets a good amount of oxygen. The vegetation areas have good oxygen. This is the reason combustible vegetation is at high risk of getting wildfire. There is no specific way to control the wildfire as the fire is very intense.

The speed of wildfire is faster. Therefore, it has repercussions. Places with good moisture content would help in reducing the repercussion of wildfire. Moisture would help in balancing the heat and stopping the fire. The death of humans and animals is very common due to wildfire. The presence of plants and trees increases the chances of wildfire.

There are some trees or plants that contain oils that catch fire easily. Eucalyptus plants contain oils that trigger fire, such as wildfire. The wildfires would not burn above the surface as they burn the natural or organic matters present inside the soil. Therefore, controlling wildfire is difficult as it doesn’t burn in the outside world.

Fire tornados are common during wildfires. Wildfires can be natural or man-made, depending on the situation. The factors such as air pressure and topography influence the nature of wildfires.

What is Bushfire?

The risk associated with bushfires is lesser than wildfires. The bushfire can kill animals and humans, but this is rare. The bushfire can destroy crops, trees, plants, and fences. The bushfires require a hot temperature, burning source, fuel, and less moisture content. The heat output of bushfires is very high as compared to wildfires.

The bushfire moves slowly, but the nature of the fire is dangerous. Bushfire can be controlled, but not in all cases. The climatic condition and environmental factors of the place would determine the lasting time of bushfires. Bushfire can stay for a few days if the fire doesn’t get the sources to burn. Availability of ignition sources and heat would not allow the bushfire to stop.

Oxygen is a vital component that increases the speed of bushfires. Bushfire is less severe than wildfire. Controlling the bushfire is difficult as they can spread over a large area. The speed of the bushfire is less, but the intensity is high. The embers are formed during the bushfires, which can spread to a large area. Bushfires can happen naturally or due to human actions.

Lightning is a big reason for causing bushfires. Sometimes, human actions, such as using heat-producing machines, can cause bushfires. Self-heating and volcanic eruption are two reasons behind the bushfires. There are many types of bushfires, such as crown and ground fires. In some cases, bushfires may help the plants in detaching the seeds.

Main Differences Between Wildfire and Bushfire

  1. The speed of wildfire is faster than bushfire.
  2. Controlling wildfires is difficult as compared to bushfires.                                                                 
  3. Wildfire uses pine trees as the fuel source, whereas bushfire requires eucalyptus trees as the fuel source.
  4. Wildfire is very common in the United States, whereas bushfire is common in Australia.
  5. The formation of fire tornados is common in the case of wildfire. On the other hand, the formation of embers is seen during a bushfire.


Both wildfires and bushfires cause destruction. The main difference between wildfires and bushfires is their speed and intensity. A wildfire is more severe than a bushfire. The repercussions of wildfire stay for a very long time. On the other hand, bushfires may stop in a few days, and the repercussion would not be higher than wildfires.

Both wildfires and bushfires require oxygen, heat, and fuel to burn. The high humid climatic condition places would not catch wildfire or bushfire easily. Water-rich areas are not at the risk of catching wildfire or bushfire easily. The wooded areas catch bushfire faster, whereas wildland areas catch wildfire rapidly.

Bushfire and wildlife are used simultaneously, but they have their differences. There is no such solution to stop the wildfire and bushfires. If the wildfire or bushfire is due to the actions of humans, then it may not become severe. Wildfires and bushfires due to natural causes are difficult to handle.


  1. https://www.nature.com/articles/nature13946
  2. https://www.publish.csiro.au/wf/wf02007