1. a fire in an area of bushes, shrubs, or brush, as distinct from a forest fire.
2. any small but persistent problem, as within a large organization, a department of a government, or between nations: border skirmishes and other international brush fires.
Pronunciation: (brush'fīur"), [key]
limited in scope, area, or importance, as some labor disputes or local skirmishes. Also,brush'fire".
Random House Unabridged Dictionary, Copyright © 1997, by Random House, Inc., on Infoplease.