Free-burning landscape fire is an important natural phenomenon critical to the healthy functioning of many ecosystems. It is an important land management tool, culturally, economically, and ecologically. Therefore, not all vegetation fires are unwanted. This Rapid Response Assessment (RRA) focuses on the apparent increase in the occurrence, extent, duration, and consequences of wildfires – unusual or extraordinary free-burning vegetation fires. The RRA considers the changing patterns of wildfires around the world, their impact on people and the environment, and options for mitigating risk and improving our response.