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NIOSH Cedar Fire Report



Investigation & Medical Findings

Recommendations / Discussions


Glossary of Terms

Maps and Photographs

CDF Cedar Fire Report

Table of Contents

Review Team Process

Overview of Accident

Summary of Events

Sequence of Events


Causal Factors

Contributory Factors


Site Conditions

Graphics – List of Illustrations Table

Description of Supporting Data and Supplementary Information

Novato FPD Investigation Analysis

Table of Contents


CDF Green Sheet


Lessons Learned

Draft Standard Operating Procedures

Inaja Fire Tragedy



NIOSH fire fighter fatality investigation

A Career Fire Fighter was Killed and a Career Captain was Severely Injured During a Wildland/Urban Interface Operation - California


Crown Closure: Is the percentage of ground covered by a vertical projection of the outermost perimeter of the crowns in a stand. Only the crowns that form part of the upper canopy level (dominant/co-dominant stratum) are used to determine closure in uneven-aged or stands with multiple canopy layers.

Crown Fire: A fire that advances from top to top of trees or shrubs more or less independent of a surface fire. Crown fires are sometimes classed as running or dependent to distinguish the degree of independence from the surface fire.

Firing Out: Act of lighting fire with a torch, fusee, etc., to accomplish burning out or backfiring.

Fuel Model: Simulated fuel complex for which all fuel descriptors required for the solution of a mathematical rate-of-spread model have been specified.

Green Sheet: An informational summary report issued by CDF following a serious accident or fatality to assist with accident prevention and training by providing a brief narrative of the conditions and sequence of events leading to a serious accident. It is subject to revision as more findings are discovered. It is usually completed within 72 hours of the accident, and is therefore necessarily preliminary in nature and subject to potential inaccuracies.

Hotshot Crew: Intensively trained fire crew used primarily in hand line construction. (Type 1)

Resources: (1) Personnel, equipment, services and supplies available, or potentially available, for assignment to incidents. Personnel and equipment are described by kind and type, e.g., ground, water, air, etc., and may be used in tactical, support or overhead capacities at an incident. (2) The natural resources of an area, such as timber, grass, watershed values, recreation values, and wildlife habitat.

Spot Fires: Fire ignited outside the perimeter of the main fire by a firebrand.

Spotting: Behavior of a fire producing sparks or embers that are carried by the wind and which start new fires beyond the zone of direct ignition by the main fire.

Strike Team: Specified combinations of the same kind and type of resources, with common communications, and a leader.

Structural Triage: Process of inspecting and classifying structures according to their defensibility/indefensibility based on their situation, their construction, and the immediately adjacent fuels.

Task Force: Any combination of single resources assembled for a particular tactical need, with common communications and a leader. A Task Force may be pre-established and sent to an incident, or formed at an incident.

Type: Refers to resource capability. A Type 1 resource provides a greater overall capability due to power, size, capacity, etc., than would be found in a Type 2 resource. Resource typing provides managers with additional information in selecting the best resource for the task.

Unified Command: In ICS, unified command is a unified team effort which allows all agencies with jurisdictional responsibility for the incident, either geographical or functional, to manage an incident by establishing a common set of incident objectives and strategies. This is accomplished without losing or abdicating authority, responsibility, or accountability.

*A complete glossary of terms can be found in the National Wildfire Coordinating Group’s Fireline Handbook5 and IFSTA’s Wildland fire fighting for structural firefighters, 4th ed.2

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