There are more than 30,000 people who fight wildfires in the U.S, and about 400 firefighters have died on the job over the last two decades. As fire seasons get longer and longer and fires become more devastating, the physical and mental toll on firefighters themselves is also growing. Brent Ruby is a professor at the University of Montana and the director of the Montana Center for Work Physiology and Exercise Metabolism Dan Cottrell is the training foreman at the Missoula Smokejumper Base. Nelda St. Claire is a former National Critical Incident Stress Program Manager for the Bureau of Land Management

This media record is part of a series:


Fireline probes the causes and consequences of the increasingly devastating wildfires burning in the U.S. It taps into the experience of firefighters, tribal land managers, climate scientists and others to understand how we got here and where we're going. Fireline is a six part series about what wildfire means for the West, planet and our way of life.

Media Record Details

Apr 6, 2021
Brent Ruby, Dan Cottrell, Nelda St. Claire

Cataloging Information

Human Dimensions of Fire Management
Human Factors of Firefighter Safety
Human Performance

NRFSN number: 23858
Record updated: January 13, 2023