Skip to Main Content
Firefighter Safety Zone: The effect of terrain slope of separation distanceAuthor(s): Bret Butler; Jason Forthofer
Source: In: Viegas, D. X., ed. Proceedings of the VI International Conference on Forest Fire Research; 15-18 November 2010; Coimbra, Portugal. Coimbra, Portugal: University of Coimbra. 3 p.
Publication Series: Miscellaneous Publication
PDF: View PDF (101.34 KB)
DescriptionPerhaps one of the most critical decisions made on wildland fires is the identification of suitable safety zones for firefighters during daily fire management operations. To be effective (timely, repeatable, and accurate), these decisions rely on good training and good judgement. The current safety zone guidelines used in the US (see fig. 1) and published in the Incident Response Pocket Guide (IRPG) and Fireline Handbook were developed based on the assumption that the fire and safety zone were located on flat terrain. The minimum safe distance for a firefighter to be from a flame was calculated as that corresponding to a radiant incident energy flux level of 7.0kW-m-2 which was determined to be the level at which exposed human skin will develop a 2nd degree burn in less than 90 seconds. An approximate correlation was derived from this model that indicated a minimum separation between the firefighter and fire should be equal to four times the flame height. For a circular safety zone this would be equal to the safety zone radius.
- You may send email to firstname.lastname@example.org to request a hard copy of this publication.
- (Please specify exactly which publication you are requesting and your mailing address.)
CitationButler, Bret; Forthofer, Jason. 2010. Firefighter Safety Zone: The effect of terrain slope of separation distance. In: Viegas, D. X., ed. Proceedings of the VI International Conference on Forest Fire Research; 15-18 November 2010; Coimbra, Portugal. Coimbra, Portugal: University of Coimbra. 3 p.
Keywordsfirefighter safety, fire behaviour, fire intensity
- The effect of terrain slope on firefighter safety zone effectiveness
- Using social science to understand and improve wildland fire organizations: an annotated reading list
- Human interactions with the environment through time in southern Nevada [Chapter 8] (Executive Summary)
XML: View XML