You Have the Power to Mitigate Struck-By-Vehicle Hazards at Wildland Fire Responses
New Responder Safety Learning Network Online Training Module is Free to All Responders


Struck and killed while extinguishing a grass fire next to the highway. Hit and killed by a
wildland fire apparatus while fleeing an advancing flame front on foot. Fallen from the exterior
of a fire apparatus and run over. Backed over and killed by a brush truck. Run over while
sleeping at a wildland fire encampment. These are just a few of the many real incidents where a
vehicle has hit and killed or injured firefighters operating at a wildland fire. Responder safety,
traffic control, and vehicle movement discipline are critical components of wildland fire
response. Yet they often do not get the attention they deserve during planning, training, and
response. As buildings and infrastructure encroach further on undeveloped land and wildland
fires involve more and more organizations across wider expanses of land and into the wildland
urban interface, the hazards of exposure to moving civilian and emergency vehicles is likely to
worsen. We can meet this challenge head-on and do more to mitigate the struck-by-vehicle
hazard at wildland fires. has released a new Responder Safety Learning Network module,
“Wildland Fires and Traffic Management,” spotlighting the struck-by-vehicle hazard at wildland
fire responses and offers guidance in how to mitigate this hazard in many contexts. The module
examines contributing factors in previous struck-by-vehicle fatalities at wildland fires as
described by the NIOSH Fire Fighter Fatality Investigation and Prevention Program and relates
them to a set of recommended practices to address these contributing factors and mitigate struck-
by hazards. NIOSH FFFIPP common contributing factors to firefighter struck-by-vehicle
LODDs at wildland fires include:

 Lack of adequate traffic control
 Responders standing in or traversing active roadways
 Decreased visibility due to smoke
 Dark or poorly lit conditions
 Failure to follow safe backing procedures
 Lack of high visibility apparel

Recommended practices to reduce the risk of being struck by a vehicle at wildland fire response
presented in the module include details on planning response, outfitting vehicles with emergency
lighting and high visibility markings, wearing high visibility apparel, deploying advance warning
and traffic control, addressing smoke conditions, exercising vehicle movement discipline,
following proper backing procedures, boarding and exiting vehicles safely, and complying with
national standards for wildland firefighting. The module outlines specific wildland fire responder
safety responsibilities for each role at the scene, from command to the line firefighter.

This module will change the way you look at a wildland fire scene when you are operating near
vehicles off-road, on-road, and road-adjacent. The module will show you how to protect yourself
and your crew from being struck. It’s important information that may not have been part of your
initial firefighting training. The module was developed with experts in responder safety, traffic
incident management, and wildland firefighting.

All training and resources are free. You can recognize the hazards of
moving vehicles and mitigate them. The “Wildland Fires and Traffic Management” module will
help you learn how.
Wildland fire season is here. Prepare yourself, your crew, and your department.