Fire behavior as it relates to firefighter safety: seven key points for discussion
Document Type: Other
Author(s): Martin E. Alexander
Publication Year: 2003

Cataloging Information

  • burnover
  • fire behavior prediction
  • fire environment
  • firefighter safety
  • insect and disease hazard
  • trigger points
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Record Maintained By:
Record Last Modified: September 4, 2019
FRAMES Record Number: 10979


This is a revised version of a paper presented for discussion during breakout sessions of the 2003 International Wildland Fire Safety Summit. These seven key points are in no particular order. Key Point #1: The International Association of Wildland Fire needs to consider broadening the 'agenda' of the International Wildland Fire Safety Summits to include the public at large. Key Point #2: Our understanding of fire behavior dynamics in insect- and disease-killed forest stands is extremely poor to non-existent. Key Point #3: Avoid placing too much reliance on 'Trigger Points' and continue to stress fire behavior fundamentals and systematically assessing potential fire behavior using existing aids & guides. Key Point #4: The use of experienced judgment in assessing fire behavior needs to be supported by more documentation in the future. Key Point #5: A concerted effort is to needed to bring the fire behavior and human behavior specialists together in order to improve wildland fire safety in the future. Key Point #6: Initial attack dispatch guidelines should reflect the current state-of-knowledge concerning fire behavior and firefighting resource productivity/effectiveness. Postscript - Key Point #7: We need to be cognizant that fatalities can and do occur on prescribed fires.

Alexander, M. E. 2003. Fire behavior as it relates to firefighter safety: seven key points for discussion. Based on a revised paper presented at the 7th International Wildland Fire Safety Summit, November 18-20, 2003, Toronto, Ontario.