Skip to page content
USDA Forest Service
  
Treesearch

Research & Development Treesearch

 
Treesearch Home
About Treesearch
Contact Us
Research & Development
Forest Products Lab
International Institute of Tropical Forestry
Northern
Pacific Northwest
Pacific Southwest
Rocky Mountain
Southern Research Station
Help
 

GeoTreesearch


Science.gov - We Participate


USA.gov  Government Made Easy


Global Forest Information Service

US Forest Service
P.O. Box 96090
Washington, D.C.
20090-6090

(202) 205-8333

You are here: Home / Search / Publication Information
Bookmark and Share

Publication Information

(294 KB)

Title: The effect of terrain slope on firefighter safety zone effectiveness

Author: Butler, Bret; Forthofer, J.; Shannon, K.; Jimenez, D.; Frankman, D.

Date: 2010

Source: In: Wade, Dale D.; Robinson, Mikel L., eds. Proceedings of 3rd Fire Behavior and Fuels Conference; 25-29 October 2010; Spokane, WA. Birmingham, AL: International Association of Wildland Fire. 6 p.

Publication Series: Paper (invited, offered, keynote)

Description: The current safety zone guidelines used in the US were developed based on the assumption that the fire and safety zone were located on flat terrain. The minimum safe distance for a firefighter to be from a flame was calculated as that corresponding to a radiant incident energy flux level of 7.0kW-m-2. Current firefighter safety guidelines are based on the assumption that radiant energy transfer is the dominant energy transfer mode. Intuition, professional observations, and the few experimental measurements that have been reported indicate that when fires are located on slopes or ridges convective energy transfer may reach distances equal to 2 to 4 or more flame lengths ahead of the fire front. This implies that the current safety zone guidelines may be invalid in some situations where the safety zone and/or fire are on slopes. A research project supported by the Joint Fire Science Program is underway to measure convective energy transport and use those measurements to develop safety zone guidelines for slopes. The new guidelines will depend on multiple variables including: fire characteristics (flame length or height), site characteristics (e.g. slope percent), and relative location (i.e. chimney, ridge, midslope, ridgetop).

Keywords: fire behavior

Publication Notes:

  • We recommend that you also print this page and attach it to the printout of the article, to retain the full citation information.
  • This article was written and prepared by U.S. Government employees on official time, and is therefore in the public domain.
  • You may send email to rmrspubrequest@fs.fed.us to request a hard copy of this publication. (Please specify exactly which publication you are requesting and your mailing address.)

XML: View XML

Citation:


Butler, B.; Forthofer, J.; Shannon, K.; Jimenez, D.; Frankman, D. 2010. The effect of terrain slope on firefighter safety zone effectiveness. In: Wade, Dale D.; Robinson, Mikel L., eds. Proceedings of 3rd Fire Behavior and Fuels Conference; 25-29 October 2010; Spokane, WA. Birmingham, AL: International Association of Wildland Fire. 6 p.

 


 [ Get Acrobat ]  Get the latest version of the Adobe Acrobat reader or Acrobat Reader for Windows with Search and Accessibility

USDA logo which links to the department's national site. Forest Service logo which links to the agency's national site.