Sleep Quantity and Quality of Ontario Wildland Firefighters Across a Low-Hazard Fire Season

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The aim of the study was to assess the sleep quality, quantity, and fatigue levels of Canadian wildland firefighters while on deployment.


Objective and subjective sleep and fatigue measures were collected using actigraphy and questionnaires during non-fire (Base) and fire (Initial Attack and Project) deployments.


Suboptimal sleep quality and quantity were more frequently observed during high-intensity, Initial Attack fire deployments. Suboptimal sleep was also exhibited during non-fire (Base) work periods, which increases the risk of prefire deployment sleep debt. Self-reported, morning fatigue scores were low-to-moderate and highest for Initial Attack fire deployments.


The study highlights the incidence of suboptimal sleep patterns in wildland firefighters during non-fire and fire suppression work periods. These results have implications for the health and safety practices of firefighters given the link between sleep and fatigue, in a characteristically hazardous occupation.

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