Production of hand-constructed fireline was simulated in 32 forest cover types and three slash fuel types in the boreal forest of northern Alberta. A total of 47 double trials were conducted in these 25 fuel types. The first trial simulated an initial attack situation, and the second a sustained attack situation. The results were used to test the validity of the fireline production index developed by Murphy and Quintilio (1978). Correlation coefficients between predicted and measured fireline production rates were 0.93 for initial attack Simulations and 0.95 for sustained attack simulations. However, the predicted rates were consistently lower than observed rates, largely because of the methodologies used in classifying resistance categories, and the "over-achieving” syndrome common to participants in behavioral studies. We conclude the index is useful in providing consistent and desirably conservative estimates of handline production rates. These estimates could be adapted for operational application in other regions if they are verified for local conditions. Predictions will be further strengthened if based on data collected from actual fires rather than simulation tests. The Canadian Institute of Forestry/Institut forestier du Canada. Abstract reproduced by permission.