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Point Fire, 1995
Island Fork Fire, 1999

Point Fire Case Study

Point Fire Accident Investigation

A. Point Fire Overview

B. Investigation

C. Recommendations

D. Supporting Data

  • Sequence of Events
  • Organization Charts
  • Site Investigation
  • Fire Behavior Report
  • Property Damage Report
  • Witness Statements
  • Outline of Kuna Wildland Training Provided by BLM

E. Records and Reports

  • Preplanned Dispatch
  • BLM Radio Transmission Log
  • Ada County Dispatch Log
  • Fire Incident Status Summary
  • Escaped Fire Situation Analysis
  • Wildland Fire Entrapment Report
  • Technical Analysis of Personal Protective Equipment
  • Vehicle Inspection
  • Weather Reports

F. Glossary


Island Fork Fire Accident Investigation


Island Fork Fire, NIOSH Report

Point Fire — U.S. District Court Civil Case

Ruling on I.C.'s Decisions - Nov. 10, 1998
 • Factual Background
 • Legal Analysis

Ruling on BLM Liability - Feb. 19, 1999
Findings of Fact
 • Legal Standards
 • Analysis

Ruling on Public Safety Officer Benefits (PSOB)


Surviving Fire Entrapments


Colorado Firecamp extends special thanks to Linda Perkins, BLM Idaho State FOIA Coordinator, for her friendly assistance in gathering the Point Fire documents. BLM FOIA Letter



Causal Factors

More than any other factor, the accident hinged on Kuna RFD Engine 620 leaving the safety of the burned area. By leaving the burned area and traveling into unburned fuels as a serious storm front approached, the crew of Kuna RFD Engine 620 placed themselves in an extremely dangerous situation.

Other omissions of safe firefighting procedures also occurred on the Point Fire. An analysis of the 10 Standard Fire Orders and 18 Situations That Shout "Watch Out!" was completed. The results of this analysis appear later in this report.

Direct Causal Factors

  • Mechanical failure of Kuna RFD Engine 620.

  • Kuna RFD Engine 620 crew members did not communicate their intent to leave the burned area, which was their safety zone.

  • Kuna RFD Engine 620 did not follow instructions of Kuna Command.

  • Extreme weather phenomenon combined with the very heavy flashy fuels located where the vehicle stalled.

Indirect Causal Factors

Leadership deficiencies indirectly contributed to this incident.

  • The BLM and Kuna ICs never met on the fire.

  • Kuna Command remained on Swan Falls Road without the capability to communicate with Boise BLM, and allowed less experienced personnel to staff one engine.

  • There is no formal mutual aid agreement between Kuna RFD and BLM, or operational plan similar to that which exists for wildfires in the Boise Front.

  • There is no local or state entity in Idaho that has an oversight role and the responsibility to set training and qualification standards for rural firefighters and equipment involved in wildland and urban interface fire management.


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