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Wildland Fires and Traffic Management

Program Abstract

Despite recent severe wildland fire seasons, little attention has been paid to responder safety and traffic incident management during these events. Several struck-by line-of-duty deaths have occurred at wildland fire scenes. These events have involved smoke obscuration of visibility on the roadway, insufficient vehicle backing safety practices, and improper boarding of firefighting apparatus. Wildland fire also presents a burn hazard to crews working and staging on and near roadways. As buildings and infrastructure encroach further on undeveloped land, wildland fire and smoke will affect more moving traffic on roadways. In addition, wildland firefighting vehicles both on and off road pose a struck-by hazard to wildland firefighters. This program teaches traffic incident management considerations for roadways affected by wildland fires, firefighting operations, and safety procedures to follow when wildland firefighting vehicles are operating in close proximity to responders on foot. The program also describes recommended safety measures like meeting NFPA fire apparatus standards to avoid crashes and donning proper high visibility apparel before stepping out of the vehicle and wearing it throughout the response in compliance with applicable standards.

Important note: This program focuses solely on traffic control and the safety of responders operating near vehicles at a wildland fire. Other safety aspects of wildland fire response are outside the scope of this program.

  • Topics:
    • Traffic Safety
    • Safety & Health
    • Project: SafeQuickClear
    • Featured Traffic Safety
  • Resource Type:
    • Reference
    • Public education material
  • Organizational Author:
    • External

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