A review of initial attack fire crew productivity and effectiveness
Document Type: Journal Article
Author(s): Kelvin G. Hirsch; David L. Martell
Publication Year: 1996

Cataloging Information

  • Australia
  • Canada
  • coniferous forests
  • crown fires
  • duff
  • fire intensity
  • fire management
  • fire suppression
  • firebreak
  • fireline construction
  • fireline productivity
  • flame length
  • fuel types
  • initial attack crew
  • litter
  • overstory
  • Picea mariana
  • Pinus banksiana
  • Populus balsamifera
  • rate of spread
  • statistical analysis
  • suppression effectiveness
  • United States
Record Maintained By:
Record Last Modified: June 1, 2018
FRAMES Record Number: 9103
Tall Timbers Record Number: 10443
TTRS Location Status: In-file
TTRS Call Number: Journals-I
TTRS Abstract Status: Okay, Fair use, 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.


Information regarding the productivity and effectiveness of initial attack fire crews is essential to a wide variety of forest fire management activities. This paper provides a selective review of crew productivity research conducted in Australia, Canada, and the United States and a cursory overview of how such information is used in computer-based fire management decision support systems. A description of several widely used rules-of-thumb that relate suppression effectiveness to fire intensity is presented as well as our understanding of how these guidelines may have evolved. This is followed by an example of some of the difficulties associated with transferring productivity and effectiveness information between fire management organizations and fire environments. The paper concludes with a discussion of strategies for investigating initial attack crew performance.

Online Link(s):
Hirsch, K. G.; Martell, D. L. 1996. A review of initial attack fire crew productivity and effectiveness. International Journal of Wildland Fire 6(4):199-215.