Determining production rates of initial attack crews
Document Type: Conference Paper
Author(s): Dennis Quintilio; T. A. Van Nest; Peter J. Murphy; Paul M. Woodard
Editor(s): Martin E. Alexander; Gordon F. Bisgrove
Publication Year: 1990

Cataloging Information

  • Alberta
  • Canada
  • cover type
  • experimental fires
  • fire control
  • fire intensity
  • fire management
  • fire suppression
  • firebreaks
  • flame length
  • fuel types
  • headfires
  • humidity
  • precipitation
  • rate of spread
  • statistical analysis
  • wildfires
  • wind
Record Maintained By:
Record Last Modified: December 5, 2019
FRAMES Record Number: 35058
Tall Timbers Record Number: 9350
TTRS Location Status: In-file
TTRS Call Number: CAN Doc
TTRS Abstract Status: Fair use, Okay, Reproduced by permission

This bibliographic record was either created or modified by the Tall Timbers Research Station and Land Conservancy and is provided without charge to promote research and education in Fire Ecology. The E.V. Komarek Fire Ecology Database is the intellectual property of the Tall Timbers Research Station and Land Conservancy.


Initial attack crews are a traditional and integral component of most fire control organizations; providing rapid, aggressive suppression capabilities while fires are small. This paper describes the methodology and results of a three-year study designed to assess the production rates of initial attack crews over a range of fuel resistance and fire intensity categories. Eighteen experimental fires were conducted in three major fuel types in central Alberta during the 1986, 1987, and 1988 fire seasons. In addition, two wildfires adjacent to the study area were actioned and documented. Fire behavior was closely monitored from both ground and air, and crew production was measured from time of initial attack through to the time of flame extinguishment over the entire fire perimeter. Crew equipment consisted of Pulaskis, shovels, backpack pumps, and a power saw. Hotspotting production rates ranged from 19 m/person-AA-hour to 403 m/person-hour and were a function of the fire behavior variables and fuel resistance. Topographic variation is minimal in the boreal forest region of Alberta, hence this factor was not considered in our production functions. Source: Canadian Forest Service, Northern Forestry Centre. Abstract reproduced with permission of the Minister of Public Works and Government Services Canada, 1999.

Online Link(s):
Quintilio, D., T. A. Van Nest, P. J. Murphy, and P. M. Woodard. 1990. Determining production rates of initial attack crews, in Alexander, M. E. and Bisgrove, G. F., The Art and Science of Fire Management: Proceedings of the First Interior West Fire Council Annual Meeting and Workshop. Kananaskis Village, Alberta, Canada. Forestry Canada, Northwest Region, Northern Forestry Centre,Edmonton, Alberta. p. 105-113,Information Report NOR-X-309.