[from the text] Forest fires in the United States have caused an average annual loss of about 70 human lives, the destruction of trees worth at the very least $25,000,000, and the loss of stock, crops, buildings, and other improvements to the amount of many millions more. To these must be added enormous losses from the destruction of young tree growth, deterioration of the soil, damage to watercourses and adjacent property by low water and flood, interruption of business, and depreciation of property. By inquiry into the causes and extent of such fires we are able to realize in some degree the magnitude of these losses, even though their amount in dollars may not be appraised. The first compilation of forest-fire statistics for the whole United States was by Prof. C. S. Sargent for the year 1880, published in the Tenth Census Report, Vol. IX. Data were given for 43 States and Territories, which, though necessarily incomplete, formed the best record then in existence. Unfortunately the Eleventh, Twelfth, and Thirteenth Censuses did not continue the compilation, and it is therefore not possible to compare data for different decades collected under similar conditions.