An Assessment of Research Needs related to Wildland Firefighter Safety
Principal Investigator(s):
  • W. Matt Jolly
    US Forest Service, Missoula Fire Sciences Laboratory
Co-Principal Investigator(s):
Completion Date: May 15, 2019

Cataloging Information

  • entrapment avoidance
  • escape routes
  • fire suppression
  • firefighter fatalities
  • firefighters
  • safety zones
JFSP Project Number(s):
Record Maintained By:
Record Last Modified: May 22, 2019
FRAMES Record Number: 57870


Since the introduction and adoption of a centralized suppression-oriented wildland firefighting paradigm in the US wildland firefighters have been employed to protect and manage various natural and human resources. Both wildland fire scientists and firefighters have long noted the numerous challenges involved with such an undertaking due to the complexities of wildland fire as a physical process (Finney et al. 2015) and the social and behavioral aspects of individuals and human organizations (Putnam 1996). Unfortunately, the combination of well-meaning and action-oriented attitudes with dynamic and volatile fire environments has resulted in hundreds of firefighter deaths (Mangan 2007; NWCG 2017). Despite these fatalities, some of which have garnered substantial public attention (e.g. Yarnell Hill), investment in fundamental research that directly focuses on how firefighters assess fire behavior, escape routes and safety zones to avoid entrapments has been limited.