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Development and Implementation of an Improved Fire Shelter for Wildland Firefighters. Leslie Anderson USDA Forest Service Missoula Technology and Development Center. Standard Fire Shelter. Developed in 1960s Laminate of fiberglass and aluminum foil Designed to reflect radiant heat

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development and implementation of an improved fire shelter for wildland firefighters

Development and Implementation of an Improved Fire Shelter for Wildland Firefighters

Leslie Anderson

USDA Forest Service

Missoula Technology and Development Center

standard fire shelter
Standard Fire Shelter
  • Developed in 1960s
  • Laminate of fiberglass and aluminum foil
  • Designed to reflect radiant heat
  • Rapidly damaged by flames
standard fire shelter1
Standard Fire Shelter
  • Deployed more than 1,100 times
  • ½ Precautionary
  • ¼ Prevented

serious burns

  • ¼ Saved life

of occupant

  • Approximately 20 fatalities
fire shelter development
Fire Shelter Development
  • 1999: Discovery of potential flammability

Response:

  • New training materials
  • January 2000 –MTDC is asked to develop new

shelter

goals for new fire shelter
Goals for New Fire Shelter
  • Maintain protection in radiant heat
  • Improve protection in flames
  • Also consider:
    • Strength
    • Durability
    • Weight/Bulk
    • Toxicity
    • Flammability
    • Cost
performance test development
Performance Test Development
  • Reliable performance tests needed
  • MTDC collected fire environment data
  • Contracted for test development
performance tests
Performance Tests
  • Strength
  • Durability
  • Flammability
  • Thermal Protection
  • Toxicity
shelter design
Shelter Design
  • Substantial interest from private industry
  • Fully designed shelters were tested as received
  • Other materials were sewn into design developed at MTDC
mtdc shelter design
MTDC Shelter Design
  • More efficient use of material
  • Shape to minimize absorption of

radiant heat

  • Allows person

to lie prone

mtdc shelter design continued
MTDC Shelter Design (continued)
  • Rounder shape
  • Rounded ends

scatter radiant heat

selection process small scale tests
Selection Process: Small-scale Tests
  • 40 materials
  • Small-scale thermal tests
  • Strength
  • Flammability
  • Toxicity
selection process full scale tests
Selection Process:Full-scale Tests
  • 17 material combinations
  • Radiant tests
  • Direct flame

tests

  • Durability

tests

  • Shake tests
  • Toxicity tests
selection process
Selection Process
  • Peer Review of Test Methods
  • 10 Options Presented
  • Selection made June 7, 2002 by Federal Fire and Aviation Leadership Council
new generation fire shelter
New Generation Fire Shelter
  • Two laminated

layers

  • Rounded shape
  • Shake handles
  • 4.2 pounds

(1.9 kg)

  • Seams for structure – and to limit damage.
materials
Materials
  • Outer Layer: Woven silica and foil
  • Inner Layer: Fiberglass and foil
training
Training
  • Video/DVD and Booklet:

“The New Generation Fire Shelter”

  • New practice fire shelter
  • MTDC Tech Tip:

“New Generation Fire Shelter Developed for Wildland Firefighters”

training continued
Training: (continued)
  • Keep focus on avoiding situations that lead to entrapment.
  • New shelter is not an excuse to take risks.
transition
Transition
  • Expensive
  • 3-5 year transition
ad