Skip to Main Content
A review of US wildland firefighter entrapments: Trends, important environmental factors and research needsAuthor(s): Wesley G. Page; Patrick H. Freeborn; Bret W. Butler; W. Matt Jolly
Source: International Journal of Wildland Fire. 28(8): 551-569.
Publication Series: Scientific Journal (JRNL)
Station: Rocky Mountain Research Station
Download Publication (1.0 MB)
DescriptionWildland firefighters in the United States are exposed to a variety of hazards while performing their jobs. Although vehicle accidents and aircraft mishaps claim the most lives, situations where firefighters are caught in a lifethreatening, fire behaviour-related event (i.e. an entrapment) constitute a considerable danger because each instance can affect many individuals. In an attempt to advance our understanding of the causes of firefighter entrapments, a review of the pertinent literature and a synthesis of existing data were undertaken. Examination of the historical literature indicated that entrapment potential peaks when fire behaviour rapidly deviates from an assumed trajectory, becomes extreme and compromises the use of escape routes, safety zones or both. Additionally, despite the numerous safety guidelines that have been developed as a result of analysing past entrapments, we found issues with the way factual information from these incidents is reported, recorded and stored that make quantitative investigations difficult. To address this, a fire entrapment database was assembled that revealed when details about the location and time of entrapments are included in analyses, it becomes possible to ascertain trends in space and time and assess the relative influence of various environmental variables on the likelihood of an entrapment. Several research needs were also identified, which highlight the necessity for improvements in both fundamental knowledge and the tools used to disseminate that knowledge.
- 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.)
- We recommend that you also print this page and attach it to the printout of the article, to retain the full citation information.
- This article was written and prepared by U.S. Government employees on official time, and is therefore in the public domain.
CitationPage, Wesley G.; Freeborn, Patrick H.; Butler, Bret W.; Jolly, W. Matt. 2019. A review of US wildland firefighter entrapments: Trends, important environmental factors and research needs. International Journal of Wildland Fire. 28(8): 551-569.
Keywordsburnover, entrapment data, entrapment investigation, fire behaviour, fire environment, firefighter fatalities
- Assessing wildland firefighter entrapment
- Wildland firefighter safety zones: A review of past science and summary of future needs
- Measuring the wildland firefighting safety culture change - an analysis of entrapment rates from 1994 to 2013
XML: View XML