Breaking News About YFIRES

January, 2023

A new era has arrived for YFIRES.  Vision 20/20 has joined YFIRES in a partnership to continue YFIRES as a free service to all users.  The vision and reach of Vision 20/20 has proven valuable in showing this field of work that youth firesetting is acknowledged and important in the greater scheme of the fire service, injury prevention, and community risk reduction.  


 August 17, 2016


SOS FIRES: Youth Intervention Programs, a non-profit organization who has served the youth firesetting community worldwide since 1994 has recently announced it will dissolve as an organization.  Changing leadership and essentially a "completed mission" were cited as the reasons.  Organization president Don Porth said "We've been working in the field for many years and feel we have accomplished what we set out to do.  With an effort like YFIRES stepping up to the plate to serve the youth firesetting intervention community, we feel the time is right to step down and put our resources into their hands."

SOS FIRES has donated their entire organizational fund to YFIRES to provide base level support for the next three years.  It is hoped that additional funding will be found to sustain the effort during and beyond these critical first few years.  

YFIRES intends to remain a free service to system users.  In order to do this, it will be necessary to leverage donations and acquire grants to sustain the effort over time.  Anyone wishing to contribute may contact YFIRES throught the "Contact Us" button on the YFIRES web site ( 


APRIL 25, 2016


WASHINGTON, DC - Youth firesetting causes significant numbers of injuries, deaths, and property damages every year. Tragically, the victims are most often children. It is a preventable behavior that often causes long-lasting negative effects, and must be addressed. Despite its magnitude, the issue of youth firesetting has been largely minimized and/or misunderstood. 
In 2011, the International Association of Firefighters (IAFF), with funding provided through DHS/FEMA's Grant Program Directorate for Assistance to Firefighters Grant Program- Fire Prevention and Safety Grants, convened a group of youth firesetting intervention professionals to discuss the problem of youth-set fires in the United States. This group was unanimous in their opinion that fires set by youth were underreported across the United States and agreed there was a need for a centralized database. The IAFF committed to providing support and leadership to seek grant funding for a task force to further explore the national needs in this particular segment of the fire problem. Through the combined effort, and over the course of five years of diligent work, the Youth Firesetting Information Repository and Evaluation System (YFIRES) has come to be.
"For decades, youth firesetting has been a significant concern within the fire service," said Harold Schaitberger, IAFF General President, "But without valid and reliable data on this issue, effective fire service and community based intervention has been difficult. This national database (YFIRES) will serve as a much needed resource to help develop youth firesetting intervention programs and will greatly enhance everyone's effort in managing cases at the local level." 
YFIRES is a project that creates a centralized data collection tool to assist youth firesetting intervention services in a number of disciplines (fire, mental health, law enforcement, family services).  YFIRES assembles a body of information that will enhance the national understanding of youth firesetting behavior and help in developing evidence-based intervention strategies. The database allows registered users to input details about each individual firesetting case they encounter. Personal details such as information on the child's home life or mental health status are recorded for deeper understanding. To protect confidentiality, this type of data is only accessible to the approved case managers. A specific select subset of non-identifying data are shared in the national database to gain better insight into this complicated issue. This raises awareness and sets the foundation to have an objective view to determine the true scope of the nationwide problem of youth firesetting.
Since pilot testing of the YFIRES database in January 2015, organizations/agencies from throughout the U.S. have been utilizing the database system to track youth firesetting incidences in their communities. More than 65 programs, based in the fire service, law enforcement, juvenile justice, mental health, and the burn prevention community have signed up to use this important tool. The YFIRES database is now ready for a nationwide launch, with the goal of having every youth firesetting intervention program throughout the U.S. collect and share compatible data by 2018.
For more information about the Youth Firesetting Information Repository and Evaluation System (YFIRES) or to register a youth firesetting intervention program, visit