Firefighter Safety

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Forest roads and operational wildfire response planning

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In this communication we briefly review and illustrate how forest roads relate to recent advances in operationally focused wildfire decision support. We focus on two interrelated products used on the National Forest System and adjacent lands throughout the western USA: potential wildland fire operational delineations (PODs) and potential control locations (PCLs). We use real-world examples from the Arapaho-Roosevelt National Forest in Colorado, USA to contextualize these concepts and illustrate how fire analytics and local fire managers both identified roads as primary control features. Specifically, distance to road was identified as the most important predictor variable in the PCL boosted regression model, and 82% of manager-identified POD boundaries aligned with roads. Lastly, we discuss recommendations for future research, emphasizing roles for enhanced decision support and empirical analysis.

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Incident management and COVID-19, lessons learned and remaining challenges

Webinar recording.

A conversation with Bea Day, Incident Commander, USDA Forest Service, Sara Sweeney, Superintendent, Mormon Lake Hotshots, USDA Forest Service and Stuart (Stu) Rodeffer, Logistics Section Chief, Portland NIMO Team, USDA Forest Service

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Advanced burn boss workshop and fire science symposium

The Advanced Burn Boss Workshop and Fire Science Symposium (click “Log in as Guest” in the event portal) is a combined virtual event that will provide targeted training for burn bosses: RT300, IFTDSS, and smoke modeling, as well as interactive presentations for a wide audience that bridge research and practice using the three pillars of the Cohesive Strategy: Resilient Ecosystems, Fire Adapted Communities, and Safe and Effective Wildfire Response.

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Living with PTSD: A wildland firefighter perspective

Webinar recording.

Presenter: Marc Titus, Staff Specialist, Nevada Division of Forestry’s Fire Adapted Communities and MS Student in Psychology, Arizona State University.

Description: PTSD is quietly impacting wildland firefighters with its often devastating personal and professional repercussions. While no official numbers exist, suicide has become another statistic now necessary to track within the wildland community as anecdotal data show an alarming trend. While agency’s come to grips with this burgeoning problem, firefighters can educate themselves to better understand the dynamics of stress, trauma and PTSD. This event will provide a unique view of the insidious nature of trauma, its effects on the human being with an eye towards recovery and nine key insights derived from the experiences of a wildland firefighter afflicted by this nervous system injury.

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Joint Fire Science Program 2019 progress report

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This progress report highlights some of the many contributions and impacts of the JFSP over the past 2 years including:

  • Continued scientific output from wildland fire research through manuscripts, management briefs, decision-support tools, and syntheses.
  • Efficient delivery of wildland fire science to practitioners through the nationwide Fire Science Exchange Network.
  • Incorporation of wildland fire science to improve policy, restoration success, public and firefighter health and safety, and fuels management, among others.
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Potential Operational Delineations (PODs), what are they, how do they work?

Webinar recording.

A presentation on Potential Operational Delineations (PODs) from multiple perspectives including both scientists and managers. We will discuss how PODs were used in Northern New Mexico past fire seasons where PODS were utilized; with an emphasis on PODs as a fire planning tool, new developments in research and applications, and innovations within the planning framework.

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16th International Wildland Fire Safety Summit and 6th Human Dimensions of Wildland Fire Conference

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A virtual conference, for real world problems. Across four days in May 2021, the IAWF presented real world risks and opportunities in an online environment. We will connect a truly international audience, with global topics and speakers from around the world, on different continents and time zones. The IAWF 16th Wildland Fire Safety Summit and the 6th Human Dimensions of Wildland Fire Conference addressed the issues that make the global wildland fire community safe, smart and supported.

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When the fire starts: A science-based framework for risk-based incident response

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Potential Operational Delineations (PODs) is a spatial wildfire planning framework that brings together operational fire responses and landscape management goals from Forest Planning documents. The PODs risk-based framework helps managers weigh a portfolio of landscape values, including human assets and natural resources, current conditions, responder safety, and likely fire outcomes to identify appropriate fire management objectives. Across the country, more than 30 National Forests have begun developing and implementing this planning framework with local partners complementing the Shared Stewardship efforts.

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Impacts of COVID-19 on the 2020 fire season

Webinar recording.

Presenters:
Cathelijne Stoof, Wageningen University, Netherlands
Val Chalton, Landworks, South Africa
Tomás Withington, Administración de Parques Nacionales de Argentina, Argentina
Cristiano Foderi, University of Firenze, Italy
Erin Belval, Colorado State University, USA

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Wildland firefighter health effects: Brief overview

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This video provides a brief overview of a new approach to examine the potential health effects that wildland firefighters may experience working on wildland fires. This effort is a collaboration between the National Institute for Occupation Safety and Health (NIOSH), the U.S. Forest Service and the National Park Service.

As you will see in the video, a NIOSH team actually goes into the field on a wildfire in Idaho to test members of the Sawtooth Interagency Hotshot Crew on potential impacts to their overall health, including effects to their hearts, lungs, kidneys, and hearing.

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