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Research Assistant Professor Mickey Campbell and Professor Phil Dennison have developed a new tool for improving wildland firefighter safety. The Safe Separation Distance Evaluator (SSDE) is an interactive, open-access tool that helps assess potential safety zones anywhere in the US. Safety zones provide a safe separation distance between firefighters and surrounding vegetation, thus helping firefighters avoid injuries and fatalities when fire threatens their location. The new tool allows users to identify and draw potential safety zones on a map, and then determine if the area provides meets safe separation distance recommendations based on weather conditions, topography, and surrounding vegetation height. SSDE was published in 2022, and recently featured in Inside the Forest Service and Science You Can Use.

Last Updated: 3/16/23