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.
1Federal Emergency Management Agency, Fire Administration (US).  Firefighter Fighter Fatalities. Date accessed: December, 2014;
2 National Wildfire Coordinating Group, Risk Management Committee.  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].
- Page last reviewed: June 27, 2014
- Page last updated: June 27, 2014
- Content source:
- National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Western States Office