Despite the clear threats from wildfires to biodiversity, until recently wildlife has not been seen as a priority in fire management. In Brazil, before 2000 there was no specific legislation to protect wild animals from the impacts of wildfires, nor any structured rescue programmes or response centres. This article looks at the effects of fire on fauna, along with an extrapolation to ecosystems and human health. Wildlife management must be integrated into wildfire protection and management policies. It must include multisectoral and interdisciplinary coordination that plans and implements strategies to minimize risks and vulnerabilities, and to maximize the quality of care for affected animals.