Wildland Fire: Reviews and Investigations

Two men in dress NPS uniform stand beneath a United States flag.

NPS / B. STEWART

Committed to Resiliency through Learning

Employee health and safety is the highest priority of every fire management activity. The primary means by which we prevent accidents is through aggressive risk management. Risk management is intended to minimize the number of injuries or fatalities experienced by wildland firefighters. Our safety philosophy acknowledges that while the ideal level of risk may be zero, a hazard-free work environment is not a reasonable or achievable goal.

When a serious accident occurs the agency's first priority is to aid the injured and to ensure prompt emergency medical attention. As soon as the emergency situation is over a serious accident investigation begins. An investigation collects information and interprets it to assist the agency in understanding how and why an accident or incident occurred, likewise a fire review does the same. Recommendations can then be developed for corrective actions. Corrective actions are intended to eliminate or mitigate hazards, reducing the probability of future injuries, occupational illnesses, and property damage that might arise from similar circumstances.

For a complete description of what types of reviews and investigations are conducted for wildland fire, refer to the Red Book, Chapter 18. Completed fire reviews, rapid lesson sharing, and facilitated learning analyses, are housed on the Wildland Fire Lessons Learned Center website. Below is a listing of recent significant NPS fire reviews and fire investigations.

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