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Wildland firefighter burnover fatalities on prescribed fires and wildfires in the United States, 1990 to 2017

Author(s):

Richard C. McCrea

Year:

2020

Publication type:

Proceedings - Paper (PR-P)

Primary Station(s):

Rocky Mountain Research Station

Source:

In: Hood, Sharon M.; Drury, Stacy; Steelman, Toddi; Steffens, Ron, [eds.]. Proceedings of the Fire Continuum-Preparing for the future of wildland fire; 2018 May 21-24; Missoula, MT. Proceedings RMRS-P-78. Fort Collins, CO: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Rocky Mountain Research Station. p. 177-181.

Description

In the 28-year period from 1990 to 2017, there were 41 incidents in the United States where firefighter burnover fatalities occurred on wildland fires. Ninety-six fatalities and 78 injuries were reported, with an average of 1.5 incidents and 3.4 fatalities per year. The great majority (76 percent) of fatalities occurred in mountainous terrain, where the most common situation was that fire personnel became trapped while working upslope or upcanyon from the fire when the fire made a sudden upslope run. The information for my report came primarily from serious accident investigations of individual incidents. The information presented in this paper will help managers and fire personnel better understand the environmental conditions and some of the human and organizational factors that are present during fatal burnovers.

Citation

McCrea, Richard C. 2020. Wildland firefighter burnover fatalities on prescribed fires and wildfires in the United States, 1990 to 2017. In: Hood, Sharon M.; Drury, Stacy; Steelman, Toddi; Steffens, Ron, [eds.]. Proceedings of the Fire Continuum-Preparing for the future of wildland fire; 2018 May 21-24; Missoula, MT. Proceedings RMRS-P-78. Fort Collins, CO: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Rocky Mountain Research Station. p. 177-181.

Publication Notes

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https://www.fs.usda.gov/treesearch/pubs/62334