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2017

Areas across the United States that one does not normally think of when one thinks of wildfire are experiencing forest, grass and brush fires with increasing frequency and intensity.  It is so important to take steps early in the season when looking to complete those Firewise spring cleaning projects.   According to a March 28 news report, areas of Michigan are experiencing higher than normal wildfire risk.  The article spoke about how wildfires can be the result of careless activity by humans such as debris pile burning.  With greater risk comes greater responsibility to take action now to reduce your risk of loss.

 

NFPA’s programs such as Firewise and initiatives such as TakeAction for Youth and Wildfire Community Preparedness Day provide resources and information to help residents in wildfire-prone regions everywhere take steps today to reduce their risk of loss.  Start spring cleaning activities with wildfire preparedness projects included to enjoy a safer summer and fall.

NFPA provides a great opportunity for you to let your Wildfire Community Preparedness Day project shine!  You have the opportunity to map the location of the project that your community will completing on May 6.  NFPA’s mapping application makes it easy for you to put your project on a national map that includes incredible projects and people from across the United States.  All you need is your address and the mapping application takes care of the rest!  You don’t have to be a GIS expert to share your project location with others.

 

What is the benefit of mapping your project?

  • First, you have the opportunity to connect with other like-minded communities that are also working hard to reduce their risk of loss due to wildfire. 
  • You also get to promote to other residents in your community, that you will be working together to create a safer community in order to help encourage more participation in the efforts by other neighbors. 
  • Finally, it is an awesome opportunity to raise awareness about the success of your efforts so that potential grant or other funding entities can see that you are successful.

 

Map your project today on NFPA’s Wildfire Community Preparedness Day Website. Check out the website for other resources you can use to make your wildfire preparedness project successful, safe and fun.

 

On Monday morning, I learned some news that shocked me and shook me to the core. The International Association of Fire Chiefs (IAFC) reported that a leader in the wildfire safety world, Christina Randall, the Wildfire Mitigation Administrator for the Colorado Springs Fire Department, had passed away suddenly and unexpectedly while attending IAFC’s WUI 2017 Conference in Reno, Nevada.

 

Knowing Christina personally and professionally, I felt devastated. As I started to think about the ripple effect of her sudden absence, my sadness grew, but also my recognition of the many contributions she has made, locally and nationally, to wildfire safety. As part of a 33-year career in the fire service, she worked for a decade alongside my NFPA colleague and Firewise program manager Cathy Prudhomme when they were both part of the Colorado Springs Wildland Risk Section. She contributed tremendous amounts of time following the Waldo Canyon fire on a joint project with the Fire Adapted Communities Coalition to develop a lessons learned document and video. She personally worked with nearly 30 Firewise Community sites within the CSFD jurisdiction over the past several years, helping these small subdivisions earn Firewise recognition status and maintain their required activity and paperwork. Most recently, she served on the International Association of Fire Chiefs Wildland Fire Policy Committee, and she chaired the NWCG Wildland Urban Interface Mitigation Committee.

 

Christina was smart, incredibly hard-working, and had a kind and calm personality. She didn’t seek the limelight, and could sometimes appear to be a bit shy, but she stepped up and made public presentations to further the mission of wildfire safety at such venues as NFPA’s Backyards & Beyond conference and NFPA’s annual Conference & Expo. She was a leader who did her most important work not in front of a camera or up on a podium, but right alongside the people who dealt day-to-day with the risk of wildfire on the landscape. According to her closest colleagues, she was known as a fierce advocate for the wildfire safety mission, a mentor and a friend.

 

All those of us who had an opportunity to work with Christina remember her kindness, her great smile and sunny attitude, and her unflagging support for community residents working to be safer from wildfire. Our hearts go out to her family and friends, her colleagues at the Colorado Springs Fire Department, and her wider wildfire family around the country.

 

Photo from my 2003 visit to Colorado Springs with the CSFD Wildfire Mitigation Team: Christina Randall, Bill Mills, Cathy Prudhomme.

WUI, wildfire, wildfire awards, wildfire conference,

A handful of NFPA staff are attending the Wildland-Urban Interface Conference (WUI) in Reno, Nevada this week to network with and learn from peers from across the country on a wide-range of wildfire topics including forest protection, safety and preparedness, land management, and more. During the conference, there was a special presentation announcing the winners of the 2017 Wildfire Mitigation Awards. NFPA is pleased to help announce the names of the recipients. They are:


• Ann Hogan (Town of Riverview, Wisconsin)
• Bob Betts (Prescott Area Wildland Urban Interface Commission, Prescott, Arizona)
• Brianna Binnebose (Utah Division of Forestry, Fire and State Lands)
• Brian Schaffler (USDA Forest Service)
• Chief Walton Daugherty (City of Helotes Fire Department, Helotes, Texas)
• City of Borger, Texas
• Heather Campbell (Pollock Pines Fire Safe Council, Pollock Pines, California)
• Jim Tencza (FireWise of Southwest Colorado, Bayfield, Colorado)
• Joanne Drummond (Fire Safe Council of Nevada County, Grass Valley, California)
• John T. Mele (Snowmass Wildcat Fire Protection District, Snowmass Village, Colorado)
• Pete Padelford (Blue Lake Springs Homeowners Association, Arnold, California)
• Rebecca Samulski (FireWise of Southwest Colorado, Dolores, Colorado)
• Santa Fe Fire Department Wildland Division (Santa Fe, New Mexico)
• Yarnell Fire Mitigation Cooperative (Yarnell, Arizona)


In case you weren’t aware, the awards were established in 2014 and are the highest commendation for innovation and leadership displayed by individuals and organizations committed to wildfire mitigation. Know someone (or a group of people) whose work deserves recognition? Consider nominating them during next year’s nomination period!


In addition, Jack Cohen, USDA Forest Service retiree, received the 2017 Wildfire Mitigation Legacy Award for his work in developing the science behind many effective wildland-fire mitigation concepts used today across North America. For many who know Jack and his work, this award is well deserved.


The awards are sponsored by the National Association of State Foresters (NASF), the International Association of Fire Chiefs (IAFC), NFPA, and the USDA Forest Service (USFS). Learn more by visiting NASF's website, and stay tuned for more details on next year’s award nomination details!

 

Photo (L to R): Chief John Sinclair, President, IAFC; Vicki Christiansen, Deputy Chief of State and Private Forestry, USDA Forest Service; Jack Cohen, USDA Forest Service retiree, Lorraine Carli, Vice President for Outreach & Advocacy, NFPA; Jim Karels, NASF and Florida state forester. 

The past few weeks have seen very large, fast-moving wildfires wreak havoc across the US, including Florida, Texas, Kansas, Oklahoma and Colorado. Particularly hard hit were rural regions in the Texas Panhandle, southern Kansas, and northern Oklahoma along with eastern Colorado. Fires continue to ignite in very dry, windy conditions in these and other areas across the central and southeast U.S. 

A New York Times story this week headlined with ranchers calling the fires "our Katrina," in reference to the devastating hurricane of 2005 that impacted multiple states. In addition to fire losses to structures and infrastructures, these recent wildfires have resulted in the deaths of seven people and innumerable livestock deaths and injuries. The heartrending stories remind us that the natural phenomenon of wildfire becomes a true disaster when it destroys not only property but takes lives and livelihoods. What many of the impacted families need now is financial support to replace and repair thousands of miles of fencing and to purchase and deliver hay. 

Julie Griffin with the Agribusiness Management Department at Central Tech in Oklahoma includes wildfire safety in her outreach to agricultural businesses and verified the following trustworthy entities where cash donations may be made to support those who need your help to get back on their feet after this devastating loss.

 

Where to donate:

Kansas - Kansas Livestock Association is organizing hay and fencing material donations for delivery to affected areas in Kansas. To make in-kind donations, call KLA at (785) 273-5115. Cash donations can be made through the Kansas Livestock Foundation (KLF), KLA's charitable arm, by going to http://www.kla.org/donationform.aspx.

Colorado - There is an immediate need for hay, feed, fencing supplies, individuals willing to provide trucking, etc. for the farmers and ranchers devastated by recent fires. Donations should be taken to CHS Grainland in Haxtun. A loader and scale are both available, if needed. Contact Rick Unrein 970-520-3565 for more information about dropping off donations. Donations can also be dropped off at Justin Price's farm (11222 CR 7 Sedgwick, CO). For more information, please contact: Kent Kokes 970-580-8108, John Michal 970-522-2330, or Justin Price 970-580-6315.

Oklahoma - If you would like to donate to this relief effort, you can do so by mail or online. Make checks payable to Oklahoma Cattlemen's Foundation and put "Fire Relief" in the memo line and send to P.O. Box 82395, Oklahoma City, OK 73148. To donate online, visit http://www.okcattlemen.org. If you would like to donate hay or trucking services for hay, you can do so by contacting either the Harper County Extension Office at 580-735-2252 or Buffalo Feeders at 580-727-5530 to make arrangements or provide trucking services.

Texas - Multiple fires in the Texas Panhandle have burned more than 400,000 acres. As part of a coordinated response with multiple state agencies and emergency managers, Texas & Southwestern Cattle Raisers Association is soliciting hay donations. Two supply points have been established to collect donated hay. Each has been listed below. If you have hay that you can donate and transport to either supply point, please contact the location directly prior to transportation.

Supply Point 1 

202 West Main

Lipscomb, TX

Contact: J.R. Spragg

Office: 806-862-4601

 

Supply Point 2

301 Ball Park Drive

Pampa, TX

Contact: Mike Jeffcoat

Office: 806-669-8033

 

Image from USAToday, "U.S. sees furious start to the wildfire season," by Doyle Rice.

The NFPA created a safety sheet which listed some environmental hazards to be aware of while completing Firewise landscape maintenance including rattle snakes, Africanized bees and poison ivy for Wildfire Community Preparedness Day project activities. Kent Nelson Forest Ranger Specialist/Excess Property Manager with the Department of Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry Maine Forest Service shared with the NFPA’s Wildland Division caution information about a very small harmless looking invasive species, the Browntail moth.  According to the Maine Forest Service web site the insect was accidentally introduced from Europe into Massachusetts in 1897 and has spread throughout the New England states.

 

The caterpillar of this moth likes to eat foliage from hardwood trees such as oak trees, but also likes to feed in fruit trees such as apple and cherry.  The main concern of this invasive insect is the tiny poisonous (setae) hairs that can cause dermatitis and other serious allergic reactions in people who are sensitive to the toxin.  The Massachusetts State Forestry web page lists precautions that should be taken to lessen your risk of exposure to these poisonous insect hairs while you are working outside, including:

  • Wear protective gear such as gloves, goggles, respirators or masks and coveralls when working outside on such projects as weed whacking, mowing raking etc.
  • Perform tasks outdoors on damp days or wet down the area where you will be working.
  • Avoid places with high levels of infestation.
  • Take cool showers and change your clothes if you have been working outside around this insect.
  • Dry laundry inside during the summer months to limit exposure of clothes to the insect hairs.
  • Consult a physician immediately if you or someone else experiences a severe reaction to exposure of the caterpillar hairs. 

Be aware of hazards while you enjoy working outside on wildfire hazard mitigation projects to ensure your safety and the safety of others participating in your community project.

Are you looking for some tools for your wildfire preparedness toolbox?  Check out the Wildfire Community Preparedness Day website. There are resources available to you to participate in Wildfire Community Preparedness Day on March 6 at no cost to you and other resources that are available to you year round. 

 

Some of the resources available to you of value year round include:

  • The safety tip sheet which can help make working on your community project safer for participants.  Being aware of hazards before undertaking project work can help participants understand how to complete project work safely.
  • Success story videos and articles about project success can help communities understand how to design and implement their project to address wildfire hazard mitigation needs in their unique environment.  Watch the videos and read the success stories to help craft your own unique solution to address your risk of loss due to wildfire.
  • The fillable flyer which can be used by community groups to help promote and advertise the project to residents.  This tool can help you encourage and inform potential project participants about what you are doing, where you will be working and what time frame you will be working.

Check out the Wildfire Community Preparedness Day website for tools you can use and participate May 6.

 

The wildfire picture was shared with NFPA by the Sammy Moore with New Jersey state Forestry and the pictures of the communities working was submitted by Firewise Communities.

The March issue of Fire BreakNFPA Wildfire Division's newsletter, is now available for viewing. Here's what you'll find in this month's issue:

  • A blog that speaks to the effect a wildfire has on local businesses
  • Key takeaways from a study that shows humans are the leading cause of wildfires
  • A link to a recent webinar that discusses U.S. fire service response capabilities to wildfire
  • An infographic that highlights the successes of the Firewise program in 2016

...and more! We want to continue to share all of this great information with you, so don't miss an issue and subscribe today. It's free! Just add your email address to our newsletter list.

Firefighters from across the United States including Alaska, New Jersey, Utah, Oklahoma, Idaho, Oregon, Montana, Washington State, tribal fire departments and others were able to attend NFPA’s updated (HIZ) “Assessing Structure Ignition Potential from Wildfire” in Irvine, California.  The updated materials included the physics of wildfires and information about how homes can ignite and burn during a wildfire.  The course involved classroom presentations with materials based upon research by Jack Cohen as well as time in the field practicing the skills learned during the classroom training.

 

 

Some of the comments from this class included;

  1.        “ I am looking at homes in a different way now.” Fire Chief
  2.        “This program is so valuable, it should be required training.” Fire Chief 
  3.        “I will be able to speak to homeowners more confidently feeling like I am knowledgeable enough to make the right recommendations.” Wildland Suppression Specialist

NFPA’s Wildfire Division will be hosting two additional classes this year.  Firefighters will soon have the opportunity to register for classes offered in Santa Fe, New Mexico June 21-22 and Jacksonville, Florida on September 13-14.  Look for your opportunity to attend on NFPA’s Firebreak newsletter and Firewise blog.

Our friends at the California Fire Science Consortium are hosting a webinar this week covering lessons from Fort McMurray. One of Canada's largest and most damaging wildfires to date, the May 2016 event in the province of Alberta has resulted in many lessons for residents, business owners and policymakers. This free webinar will be held on Thursday, March 16, 2017 at 11 am Pacific Daylight Time (2 pm Eastern).

 

Visit the California Fire Science Consortium webinar page to learn more about the context of this presentation, the presenter, Dr. Mike Flannigan at the University of Alberta, and to find out more about upcoming events and view recordings of past webinars.

 

For more about this historic wildfire, check out the web page of Canada's Institute for Catastrophic Loss Reduction, where several studies are published, or attend NFPA's Conference & Expo on Tuesday, June 6, to catch Alan Westhaver's presentation, "Why Some Homes Survived: Learning from the Fort McMurray Wildland/Urban Interface Disaster."

In a previous blog, I wrote about a new surveillance system to collect data on wildland firefighter fatalities (the Wildland Fire Fighter On-Duty Death Surveillance System) under the aegis of the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH).  As mentioned, NFPA’s Fire Incident Data Organization (FIDO) is one of three separate sources of information on wildland fire fighter deaths that will be utilized in this effort.  I want to follow up in this blog with a brief description of some of the new system’s mechanics, as well as early findings. 

 

A starting point is to identify the criteria that NIOSH has established for determining just what counts as a wildland fire fighter death, a necessity that emerged when NIOSH researchers found discrepancies between the numbers of fatalities reported by the three information sources owing to differences in how the deaths were defined. 

 

Consequently, NIOSH drew up a multi-part case definition to ensure consistency of its fatality data.  Here, fatalities are defined as any fatal injury or illness sustained among wildland fire fighters while on-duty at a wildland fire-related event or while performing wildland fire duties in the U.S.; wildland fire is defined as a non-structure fire occurring in vegetation or natural fuel, including prescribed fire and wildfire, and wildland fire fighter is distinguished as a person with a principal function of fire suppression, whether in a career or volunteer capacity.  NIOSH also further defines on-duty as:

 

--a wildland fire or non-fire activity

--the act of responding to or returning from a wildland fire; performing other officially assigned wildland fire or wildland fire fighter duties

--being on call, under orders, or on standby duty, other than at one’s own home or place of business, and

--events covered under the Hometown Heroes Survivors’ Benefits Act of 2003.

 

As deaths and incident details are received from the three data sources, they’re entered into the NIOSH surveillance system, sometimes after follow-up to reconcile conflicting information. 

 

Drawing on the three data sources, the NIOSH surveillance system has identified 247 wildland fire fighter deaths that occurred between 2001 and 2012. 

 

Already, the strength of combining data sources is suggested by what NIOSH found when comparing its injury count to those of the individual data sources.  NIOSH reports that 181 of the 247 deaths (73%) were captured by all three data sources, while 31 of the deaths (13%) were commonly identified two data sources, and 35 deaths (14%) were identified in one source only. 

 

Moving forward, the payoff of the surveillance system will be determined by how effectively it can be used by partners who can leverage the data to target high risk practices or populations, identify training needs, promote protective factors, evaluate prevention outcomes, inform policy, or contribute in other ways to the ultimate goal of reducing wildland fire fighter deaths.

 

For more on the NIOSH wildland firefighter fatality surveillance initiative, see: https://blogs.cdc.gov/niosh-science-blog/2017/02/16/wildland-ff-surveillance/

With just the right conditions, wildfire can become a threat in areas we may not normally think about as fire-prone regions. Following on severe drought, warm temperatures and high winds in late fall of 2016 that caused significant fire spread and home destruction in the Southeast, this week the Plains states of Oklahoma, Kansas and Colorado as well as much of Texas and parts of Florida are all seeing significant wildfire activity. Sadly, these wind-driven fires have also caused the deaths of a reported 7 individuals, several of whom were attempting to save and protect livestock from the flames and embers. At NFPA, our hearts go out to their family and friends, and to those of several firefighters who have been injured responding to these events. 

 

The magnitude of the Kansas wildfires has veteran fire officials using the word "unprecedented." Sarah Wood, the fire data manager with the Kansas State Fire Marshal's Office, has posted information from the local news outlets about the fire conditions on her LinkedIn Page. Based on these conditions, Wood says, "Residents will need to be fiercely vigilant."


If your area is under a red flag warning - meaning that there is a high potential for fire - what should you be doing to prepare? Download our tipsheet (attached) and find out more by reviewing the Firewise Toolkit online. For folks who own horses, we have a preparedness booklet for you, too, to prepare you to evacuate your animals. It's not too late to prepare for wildfire and potentially save homes and lives.

In the March/April NFPA Journal Wildfire column, I explore how NFPA can balance the elimination of fire risk with the reality of wildland fire ecology. Recent fires in Gaitlinburg, Tennessee, provide a context, and importantly, a call to action for assistance.

 

Almost every other NFPA risk-reduction effort, from public education campaigns to the vast majority of NFPA codes and standards, seek the complete elimination of fire from the safety equation. Yet, in the case of wildfire, our wildfire risk reduction strategies have to acknowledge that fire must exist, to some extent, as a critical part of a healthy, natural land management process. How to control that and what to protect becomes the focus.

 

In writing the column, I was also stuck by the difficulty of writing a reflective, arguably academic piece about what was a human tragedy. The role of a writer, if I may call myself that, is to find “the story” from an event to relay reflection and hopefully, lessons learned. It’s easy to forget in this pursuit, that 14 people died and have family and friends searching for a higher meaning to what occurred.

 

Just as I closed the column, I encourage you here as well to visit MountainTough.org, the relief organization established by Sevier County and the cities of Gatlinburg, Pigeon Forge and Sevierville, Tennessee.  It assists those who need help and those who want to help. Their recovery can be the best example of our collective advocacy and a beneficial lesson learned for all.

Have you ever wondered what it looks like fighting a wildfire as a  firefighting pilot? The Texas A&M Forest Service shared a video with NFPA that was filmed from a single-engine plane, Tanker 850 responding to the Prison Fire in Texas on March 1, 2017.  This video gives you an exclusive look at what it really looks like from the sky above a wildfire. it also lets us see how big a wildfire can become and how difficult it is for firefighting pilots to position a drop of chemical flame retardant in front of a fire front.   The pilot and crews on the ground and at the command center have to keep in close communication to make sure that the drop goes exactly where they want it.  As you watch the plane get close to the ground to make the drop, you realize just how dangerous the job is.

 

Before this fire season begins let's all do our part to help keep our communities safer from loss due to wildfire.  By working together to make our homes and communities safer from wildfire, we can help to make it safer for firefighters as they work hard to protect our communities from loss. Learn more about how we all can become part of the solution by taking steps today to lessen our risk of loss due to wildfire.  NFPA has resources and training available to help you take action that can make a difference.

 

Video shared by Phillip Truitt Communications Specialist Directors Office Texas A&M Forest Service

As we take action to clean up around the homestead after a long winter, let us think about how we can create a Firewise home and landscape, not only focusing on the vegetation surrounding our home, but also the “human treasure” that we simply cannot seem to get rid of.  We all know that someday we might need these items.  Many of these treasures, such as old tires, leftover wood, sofas, and other furniture items and papers can contribute to debris piles often located in close proximity to the home. This creates a scenario where we have put kindling around the home that will make it easier to ignite if there is a wildfire. 

 

Make sure the items that you are storing do have value.  Hoarding items outside can be just as hazardous as hoarding excess items inside.  The NFPA offers some great resources to help fire service professionals and others with these potentially hazardous conditions. If you choose to keep these items, do not store them next to the home or under the deck, rather put them in the garage or in an enclosed shed.

 

Even such things as open garbage cans under the eaves, flammable attachments such as trellises with dead vines, cocoa or rattan door mats, and patio cushions can create hazardous conditions for a home during a wildfire event.   Make sure that your garbage cans have lids and are not located under the eaves of your home. Use nonflammable attachments and remove all dead vegetation away from your home.  If you are going to be away from your home, take door mats and patio cushions inside.  Learn about how you can take steps today and all throughout the year to make your home safer from wildfire.  To make your home Firewise.

 

Pictures  by Faith Berry

Once again, the southeastern U.S. will see above normal wildland fire potential through the Spring months according to Predictive Services of the National Interagency Fire Center.  The coastal areas from Virginia through the Carolinas, Georgia and most of Florida are likely to see above normal activity in March along with eastern New Mexico, western Texas and southern and southeastern Kansas and Colorado.predictive services map march 2017

 

April indications show the above normal predictions expanding westward on the southeastern seaboard especially in Georgia.  Central New Mexico and some of eastern Alaska are also showing above normal potential.

 

For May and June, fire potential moderates to normal or below normal for most of the U.S.  Central New Mexico, Florida and southern Georgia remain above normal.

 

For the complete report go here.

 

Drought conditions in the Southeast have been significant with only periodic breaks.  Given the fire activity and wildfire behavior that was experienced in this region last fall, especially in Tennessee, these predictions should be a "heads up" to both residents and wildfire Agencies to get mitigation work done, especially around the home ignition zone, well before wildfires start. 

 

For more information on what you can do to reduce your risk from wildfire, go to Firewise.org or contact your local state forestry agency.

State Farm has generously provided a grant to NFPA to recognize 150 projects with funding to complete wildfire preparedness projects throughout the United States.  March 3 is the last day to apply for your opportunity to receive project funding.

 

The application is easy to complete and NFPA has provided many resources to help you write that perfect project description including tip sheets and a free webinar.  Remember to tell us as briefly as possible in 1200 characters or less what you could accomplish with $500 to lessen your community’s risk of loss due to wildfire. So if you are a community, fire department, Firewise Community, Fire Adapted Community, youth group, church group, HOA or a group of friends, apply today for your opportunity to take action and make a difference in the wildfire safety of your community.

The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) has a long-standing research program in firefighter safety and health.  Because the demands and hazards of wildland firefighting differ in some important ways from structural firefighting (such as the need to carry heavy equipment over difficult terrain and long work shifts that may last multiple continuous days), NIOSH recently introduced the NIOSH Wildland Fire Fighter On-Duty Death Surveillance System.  Of particular note to NFPA audiences is that our own Fire Incident Data Organization (FIDO) is one of three data sources that NIOSH is utilizing in creating this data collection system.

Just to be clear, surveillance in this context refers to the public health practice of systematically collecting and analyzing injury data in order to help identify opportunities for prevention.  Think of fatal injury surveillance data as representing the “who, what, when, where, how and why” elements of injury events.  By studying trends and identifying the circumstances of these deaths, it will be possible to better identify risk factors and to support prevention measures.

 

The reason that NIOSH is using three reporting systems is that different systems have different methods of identifying and defining cases for inclusion. Different criteria may be used in determining what constitutes a work-related fatality, for instance, such as whether to include a firefighter who suffers a fatal heart attack following an arduous work shift, but who was no longer on duty.  Consequently, even though each of the reporting systems follows the same outcome of interest – wildland firefighter deaths -- they may produce slightly different numbers.  By drawing from each of the three data sources, NIOSH hopes to create as complete a count of wildland firefighter deaths as possible, and also to assemble more detailed information on injury events than is available from a single data source.

 

NFPA’s internal FIDO database itself is an information-rich database that draws upon multiple data sources, including fire departments and other investigation reports.  Launched by NFPA in 1971, FIDO data also includes records for significant fire incidents that don’t involve firefighter fatalities.  In addition to FIDO, the other two data sources that NIOSH will be using in its surveillance effort are the National Wildland Fire Coordinating Group (NWCG) Safety Gram and the firefighter fatality data system sponsored by the United States Fire Administration (USFA). As the new system evolves, it should facilitate research that homes in on some of the special hazards of wildland firefighting and identifies opportunities for intervention.

 

I’ll have more on the new surveillance system and some of its early findings in a follow-up blog.

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