brush fire

a fire in an area of bushes, shrubs, or brush, as distinct from a forest fire.
any small but persistent problem, as within a large organization, a department of a government, or between nations: border skirmishes and other international brush fires.

1770–80, Americanism Unabridged


limited in scope, area, or importance, as some labor disputes or local skirmishes.
Also, brushfire.

1945–50 Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
brush fire
1.  a fire in bushes and scrub
2.  a minor local war

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009
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Encyclopedia Britannica

brush fire

fire in vegetation that is less than 1.8 m (6 feet) tall, such as grasses, grains, brush, and saplings. See wildland fire.

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Encyclopedia Britannica, 2008. Encyclopedia Britannica Online.
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Example sentences
The property owner noticed a small brush fire at the end of the trailer.
Fires will start from open flame, camp or brush fire.
Emergency calls may be a brush fire, structure fire, automobile accident or
  life-threatening medical emergency.
Fire crews responded to a two acre brush fire that started by arching power
  lines from the high winds.
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