It has been estimated that over 80% of forest areas in Poland is threatened with fire. Due to the number of fires and burned area, Poland is counted to the group of European countries where fires break out the most frequently. On average, each year and mostly because of human activity, almost 8.5 thousand fires break out resulting in over 7 thousand ha of burned forest area. Many scientists forecast that the climate warming, decline in precipitation amount and prolonging rainless periods will enhance fire risk in forests, which will translate itself not only into an increase in the number of fires, but also will favour their intensive spreading. The aim of presented paper is estimating the operational efficiency of the fire protection system in Polish forests and the effectiveness of fire extinguishing actions in forests, but also recognition of the effect of the forest area management type on fire statistics. Following data series were investigated: of the number of fires, the burned forest area and average fire area for the years 1990-2016 for the forests under the management of the State Forests National Forest Holding (State Forests NFH) and other managements. Determined trends were analysed by means of Mann-Kendall non-parametric test. A mean area of forest fire was assumed as the main measure of forest fire protection system effectiveness. The area was compared with the other European countries, Canada and the USA. Despite a lack of a tendency for decreasing number of fires in Poland, which is noted in Europe, taking into account a low value and a statistically significant downward trend for average fire area, forest protection and the effectiveness of extinguishing actions in Polish forests should be regarded as very good. The exception are forests remaining beyond the management of the State Forests NFH, where the upward trend for the number of forest fires is alarming.