We present a theoretical model of the time-resolved excitonic photoluminescence in quantum wires. We study the role of disorder on the temperature dependence of the photoluminescence lifetime. We find that at low temperature the exciton population is not thermalized in disordered quantum wires and that the lifetime is mainly determined by the localization length of the exciton. However for large localization lengths or high enough temperatures the exciton population thermalizes within its lifetime and the temperature dependence becomes square root like.