RT-130, Wildland Fire Safety Training Annual Refresher (WFSTAR)

When Lightning Strikes

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Review the anatomy of a lightning strike and the safety precautions if you are caught in a lightning storm.
Category: Hazards
Core Component(s): Other Hazards & Safety Issues
Estimated Delivery Time: 30 minutes; Video Length: 11:34


Recognize the characteristics of a lightning strike, including warning signs, risks, safety, and related injuries.

  • Identify the warning signs of a potential lightning strike.
  • Recognize lightning related injuries and their symptoms.

Facilitator Preparation

  • Review the video and module tools.
  • Consider additional activities and discussion questions pertinent to the location and agency.

Facilitating the Discussion

  • Show the video.
  • Facilitate a discussion using the following scenario.


You are part of a four-person rappel crew on initial attack of a ¼ acre lightning fire in subalpine fir on a sparsely-wooded ridge in the late afternoon. There is a cumulonimbus cell approaching your position from the southwest and you begin to hear thunder and see flashes within the anvil shaped cloud. You estimate that the cell is seven to nine miles away and approaching fast.

  1. What are your actions and why?
  2. What warning signs influenced your decision?
  3. What medical and transport considerations should you take into account in a post-strike situation?


Additional Video Information

This video is also available as a download.(Size 128 MB)

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