Surviving storm hazards

Wildland firefighters face additional hazards from thunderstorms, which can be accompanied by heavy downbursts that can cause extreme fire behavior and lightning.

During a storm, the National Interagency Fire Center recommends the following for firefighters:

• Do not lie down.
• The best position is sitting on a pack or crouching with feet close together.
• Avoid sitting directly on the ground, if possible. But, if necessary, keep feet and butt close together.
• Avoid grouping together. Keep a minimum of 15 feet between people when possible.
• Handheld radios (with short rubber antennas) or cell phones are safe to use. Communication is vital to crew safety. Do not use land line radios or radios with elevated antennas.
• Wide, open spaces are better than trees or clumps of trees in the vicinity. Ridge tops, etc., should be avoided.

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