It’s an old science, just like geo-engineering.
Thinking wildfires are really wild in the 21st Century is naivety.
FOREST FIRE AS A MILITARY WEAPON
A June 1970 Report of study commissioned by the Dept of Defense.
In 1965 the Joint Chiefs of Staff requested that the Secretary of Defense initiate research to determine the feasibility of measuring the flammability characteristics of forests and jungle growth, modifying flammability so that vegetation would readily support combustion and developing measures to destroy large areas of forest or jungle growth by fire. This research has been conducted by the Forest Service of the Department of Agriculture, under sponsorship of the Advanced Research Projects Agency through ARPA Order 818. The primary research attention was given to the flammability characteristics of jungle growth in tropical and monsoonal climates where forest fires seldom occur naturally.