Analyses of the historical behavior of forest fires provide the basis for effective fire management programs. This descriptive research aimed to analyze when, where and why forest fires occurred in Santa Ana canton, Manabí province, Ecuador, during the period 2012-2018. The data were provided by the Fire Department of that locality. The analysis was carried out considering a spatiotemporal context (years, months, days of the week, localities and vegetation cover). Statistical analyses were carried out with SPSS Statistics for Windows (version 22.0). A significance level of 0.05 was used. In the analyzed period, 91 losses were reported, corresponding to the year 2016 the highest percentage (38.46 %). From July to January 94.50 % of the total number of fires were recorded, associated with low rainfall and increased use of fire by farmers to clear the land. During the day, the highest number of events was recorded from 14:00 to 16:00 hours (27.47 %). In cases where the parish and vegetation cover were specified, the highest percentages corresponded to Ayacucho and weeds with 54.05 and 26.37 %, respectively. The work allowed to establish temporal and spatial patterns of fire occurrence and its causality, constituting an important and relevant contribution on when, where and why fires occur in the canton of Santa Ana, information that can be used by decision makers of integrated fire management activities.