Safety          Safety           Safety


Section 2,        Section 3,        Section 4,        Section 5


Section 1.0 Introduction 



S-185 Fire Entrapment Avoidance & Safety

1.0 Introduction

SAFETY IS THE MOST IMPORTANT CONSIDERATION ON ANY FIRE

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It should be noted and remembered that most fireline emergency incidents are a result of someone (or a whole crew) not following ALL of the safe work procedures.

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This course will teach the participant the basic principles of fire-line safety and in particular, those safety rules pertaining to avoiding a fire entrapment incident.  

It is expected that if all fire-line safety rules and regulations are followed, the need may never arise for a fire fighter to have to unexpectedly resort to “last ditch” efforts to save their or others, lives.

However, it is well documented where unexpected fire behaviour does occur.  In some of these documented cases, several lives have been lost.  

It is the goal of this course to ensure that even when the “unexpected” occurs, the fire fighter will know what to do and where to go and in the end, be safe and alive.

Note: The British Columbia Forest Service – Protection Branch, no longer issue Fire Shelters to their fire crews.  Therefore, all fire fighting strategies factor this into the emergency; withdraw and escape procedures as there is no fire shelter available.


We recently read a statement in a Canadian Wildland Fire Training Manual that said that FIRE ENTRAPMENT WAS GOING TO HAPPEN EVENTUALLY TO EVERYONE AT ONE TIME OR ANOTHER.  I believe that statement is very very wrong!  The reason - think about it.  Fire entrapment means you are TRAPPED and if you are TRAPPED that means you may DIE!  Straight and simple.  One very common denominator with all fire entrapment fatalities is that the fire burned over their position.  Those very unfortunate and brave souls were trapped and unable to get away to a safe zone!  In our opinion, it seems the creator of that course has given up already.   That is like saying that every person who drives a vehicle is going to be in an accident!    Listen, firefighters, OF COURSE YOU NEVER WANT TO BE TRAPPED, AND THIS COURSE MAY HELP YOU CONSIDERABLY TO AVOID EVER BEING TRAPPED.  


Three sides of Fire Triangle

  • Heat
  • Oxygen
  • Fuel


Basic Fire Behaviour

  1. Affected by topography
  2. Affected by fuel type, spacing and density
  3. Affected by weather conditions
  • wind
  • precipitation
  • relative humidity
  • temperature
  1. Affected by daily weather patterns / daily (diurnal rhythms) upslope winds during daytime and downslope winds at night
  2. Affected by historical weather patterns
  • extended droughts (less than average rainfall)
  • reduced snow-pack over previous winter(s)


Wind is typed in red because of all the weather related conditions, the sudden changes and movement of air (wind) can be the most critical to fire control attempts and to the fire fighter’s personal well being.  

Many fire entrapments are a result of sudden and unexpected winds and wind direction changes.




Next Page

Think ahead

 Anticipate

"If In Doubt  

Back Out!"

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