Skip directly to search Skip directly to A to Z list Skip directly to navigation Skip directly to site content Skip directly to page options
CDC Home


photo collage - airplane spraying wildland fire and scene of wildland fire

Every year, hundreds of thousands of acres of land burn across the United States and wildland fire fighters (WFFs) are asked to protect our lives, our homes and our forests. But fires are unpredictable and dangerous. Between 2000-2013, almost 300 on-duty WFF fatalities occurred. 1,2,3 Common hazards faced on the fire line can include burnovers/entrapments, heat-related illnesses and injuries, smoke inhalation, vehicle-related injuries (including aircraft), slips, trips, and falls and others.4. In addition, due to prolonged intense physical exertion, WFFs are at risk for heat related illness and rhabdomyolsis.

NIOSH offers resources for fire departments, fire fighters, and partner organizations to prevent on-duty injuries, illnesses and deaths from hazards and exposures associated with fighting wildfires.

CDC and NIOSH also provide resources for responders in conducting rescue and clean-up activities.

Wildfire Statistics*

As of August 4, 2015

Number of Fires: 12,174

Acres of Land: 1,749,840

For current information, please view the Wildland Situation Report

*Information reported to the National Interagency Fire Center1


1Federal Emergency Management Agency, Fire Administration (US). [2014] Firefighter Fighter Fatalities. Date accessed: December, 2014;

2 National Wildfire Coordinating Group, Risk Management Committee. [2014] Safety Gram . Date Accessed December, 2014

3 National Fire Protection Association (US), Research. Date accessed: December, 2014

4 Britton C, et al., Epidemiology of injuries to wildland firefighters .Am J Emerg Med. 2013 Feb; 31(2):339-45. [Epub 2012 Nov 15].

Contact Us:
  • Page last reviewed: June 27, 2014
  • Page last updated: June 27, 2014 The U.S. Government's Official Web PortalDepartment of Health and Human Services
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention   1600 Clifton Rd. Atlanta, GA 30329-4027, USA
800-CDC-INFO (800-232-4636) TTY: (888) 232-6348 - Contact CDC-INFO