We report a study on the optical absorption coefficient associated to hydrogenic impurity interstate transitions in zinc-blende GaN quantum wires of cylindrical shape taking into account the effects of externally applied static electric and magnetic fields. The electron states emerge within the effective mass approximation, via the exact diagonalization of the donor-impurity Hamiltonian with parabolic confinement and external field effects. The nonlinear optical absorption is calculated using a recently derived expression for the dielectric susceptibility, obtained via a nonperturbative solution of the density-matrix Bloch equation. Our results show that this treatment eliminates not only the intensity-dependent bleaching effect but also the change in sign of the nonlinear contribution due to the combined effect of asymmetric impurity location and the applied electric field. © 2014 AIP Publishing LLC.