National Wildfire Coordinating Group

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

Devils Creek Fire

RT-130 Decorative banner. Group of photos depicting wildland firefighters performing various duties.

Review the events of the Devils Creek Fire Entrapment and discuss significant lessons learned.
Category: Operations
Core Component(s): Local Topics;
Incident Reviews and Lessons Learned;
Fire and Aviation Operational Safety;
Human Factors, Communication and Decision Making;
Fire Shelters and Entrapment Avoidance

Estimated Delivery Time: 30 minutes; Video Length: 4:01



Review the events of the Devils Creek fire and discuss significant lessons learned.

Facilitator Preparation

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

Facilitating the Discussion

  • Show the video.
  • Facilitate a discussion using the discussion questions below.
  • Conduct additional activities if pertinent to your location.

Discussion Questions

  1. On the Devils Creek fire, a complex firing operation rapidly devolved into a multi-casualty incident. How can you prepare for the worst-case scenario?
    1. How do you ensure resource accountability during unforeseen events?
    2. Have you used trigger points in the past? How will you adjust your view or use of trigger points based on this event?
    3. What is your local response plan for medical emergencies?
  2. The Serious Accident Investigation reminds us “Always wear PPE (including gloves) when working on the fireline, as conditions can change rapidly and put firefighters in jeopardy of burn injuries. Consider using a shroud to protect the head, neck, and face from heat when working on the fireline.”
    1. Do you wear all articles of personal protective equipment (PPE) all the time, regardless of fireline conditions? How might you adjust your habits or PPE configuration to be better prepared for rapid changes?
    2. Discuss the importance of wearing proper PPE. How did PPE mitigate the severity of injures on this incident?
  3. As stated in the Serious Accident Investigation, “Radio communication in this area has been a constant and well-documented problem on the district. The incident relied on the cell phone as a single point of communication. This normalization of risk could easily have been a contributing factor.”
    1. Recall a time when communication issues created difficulties for you on an incident. How did you mitigate the problem?
    2. Are cell phones an acceptable method of incident communication? Why or why not?


Additional Video Information

This video is also available as a download.  (Size 52MB)
Download the .srt file for closed captioning (you may need to right click and Save As). For information on how to add closed captioning to a video, see this how to page.

Note: For Chrome and Firefox, right click the word download and select Save Link As; For IE, right click and select Save Target As.


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