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Wildland fire fatalities in the United States: 1990-1998

Author(s): Richard Mangan
Year Published: 1999

Wildland fire operations are conducted in a high-risk environment. Individuals involved in all aspects of fire management are subject to the dangers of burnovers, vehicle and aircraft accidents, and medical emergencies. Between 1990 and 1998, 133 individuals died while involved in wildland fire activities (Figure 1). These deaths occurred on 94 separate events. Each year, the National Wildfire Coordinating Group’s (NWCG) Safety and Health Working Team prepares a “SafetyGram” documenting wildfire fatalities across the United States in all jurisdictions, including areas protected by Federal, State, city/county, rural, and volunteer firefighters. The SafetyGram contains specific information about each fatality (and nonfatal fire entrapments), but does not process, analyze, or interpret the data. This paper will analyze the data presented in the SafetyGrams for 1990 to 1998, looking for trends and making recommendations that may be important to fire managers in their efforts to reduce future fatalities. Specific information analyzed includes: cause of death, organization, and the geographic area of the fatality.

Citation: Mangan, Richard. 1999. Wildland fire fatalities in the United States: 1990-1998. Missoula, MT: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Missoula Technology and Development Program Tech. Rep. 9951-2808-MTDC, 17p.
Topic(s): Human Dimensions of Fire Management
Ecosystem(s): None
Document Type: Technical Report or White Paper
NRFSN number: 15462
Record updated: Sep 18, 2017