Monday, November 7, 2011

Exposing Our Roots - 1995/1996

Where were you in 1995? Some of you may have been employed in wildland fire and can remember focus on changing our culture. Every once in a while I think there is great value in "exposing our roots"--letting those new to the wildland fire service know where the Wildland Fire Leadership Development Program (WFLDP) began. Over the next few weeks, we'll revisit our history.

A Glance Back at 1994

Thirty four lives were lost on wildland fire incidents in 1994. Fourteen of those fatalities occurred on South Canyon fire near Glenwood Springs, Colorado.


The Missoula Technology Development Center (MTDC) hosts the 1st Firefighters Human Factors Workshop.

  • "To begin to address some of the human factors questions, experts in psychology, sociology, organizations, fire safety, and wildland firefighting attended a 5-day workshop in June 1995 to discuss ways of improving firefighter safety" (Finding from the Firefighters Human Factors Workshop, p. 3).

Smokejumpers and pilots participate in Cockpit Resource Management (CRM) training.

Following the deaths on South Canyon, the BLM commissioned the Firefighter Awareness Study--a four-phase study awarded to the TriData Corporation. Phase I - Identifying the Organizational Culture, Leadership, Human Factors, and Other Issues Impacting Firefighter Safety was completed in 1996.


The National Park Service develops and tests a human factors course. The WFLDP now administers L-180 - Human Factors in the Wildland Fire Service. The 2010 video component of L-180 is available on YouTube. The course is currently under development for online delivery.

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