The leading causes of US mine fires include flame cutting and, welding operations, frictional heating and ignitions, electrical shorts, mobile equipment malfunctions and spontaneous combustion. From 1990 through 2007, there were 1601 reportable fires that occurred in the US mining industry - an average of 89 fires per year. The fact that mine fires are occurring with alarming regularity reinforces the importance of recognizing and eliminating the potential hazards. These statistics also show the need for improved control and suppression technology to ensure worker health and safety if a mine fire does occur. National Instirute for Occupational Safety and Health is conducting a comprehensive program of research addressing metal/nonmetal and coal mine fire prevention, detection and suppression. They include the areas of spontaneous combustion, flame cutting and welding, conveyor belt fire suppression and remote methods for addressing coal mine fires.