Document Type


Date of Degree

Spring 2010

Degree Name

PhD (Doctor of Philosophy)

Degree In


First Advisor

Peek-Asa, Corinne

First Committee Member

Torner, James

Second Committee Member

Lynch, Charles

Third Committee Member

Ramirez, Marizen

Fourth Committee Member

Buresh, Christopher


Three main research topics are reported in this dissertation. This research project focused on estimating the burden of injury on large federal wildland fires and describing the injury characteristics and risk factors for severity of injury in a sample of injured federal wildland firefighters.

Chapter 2 "Peak incident management level affects rates of injury on large federal wildland fires" reports estimates of rates of injury for large federal wildland fires and assesses the effect of peak incident management level (PIML) as a predictor of rate of injury. After adjusting for seasonal factors and fire characteristics, PIML was a predictor of both rate of injury and odds of any injury occurrence, but the effect was opposite. Fires with higher PIML demonstrated lower incidence rate ratios, but the odds of injury were increased.

Chapter 3 "Wildland fire job assignment and burden of injury" describes the injury characteristics and severity associated with the firefighter's job assignment in fire-related injuries reported to the United States Department of Interior. Job assignment was significantly associated with cause and nature of injury, but not with the severity of injury as defined by days off work or job transfer.

Chapter 4 "Cause, characteristics and severity of injuries in wildland firefighters" examines the relationship between the cause of injury and type of injury and the severity of injury. Injuries caused by slips, trips or falls were most frequently reported. Injuries caused by bites or stings and plants were less likely to be severe relative to injuries caused by slips, trips or falls.

Together, these studies provide evidence that injuries may significantly impact the wildland fire community, but that better information is needed to fully evaluate risk factors and develop evidence-based interventions.


firefighters, injury, wildland fire


viii, 77 pages


Includes bibliographical references (pages 73-77).


Copyright 2010 Carla Lea Britton