U.S. Joint Fire Science Program


Date of this Version


Document Type



JFSP project, Final Report 10-1-05-1


US government work.


The US wildland fire community has been interested in cultivating organizational learning to improve safety and overall performance for a number of years. A key focus has been on understanding the difference between culpability (to be guilty) and accountability (to explain) and on re-orienting review processes towards building a collective account of (as opposed to finding individual blame for) unwanted outcomes. A variety of innovative methodologies have been developed, yet until this project, there has been no systematic reflection to determine whether or how any of the existing review processes might be assisting organizational learning. Through a series of five workshops with members of the US interagency prescribed fire community, we sought to assess how the various review processes, products, and the atmosphere within which these are conducted may be contributing to or inhibiting achievement of organizational learning. This final report briefly describes the project activities and methods, presents key findings and management implications, and provides links and references to more in-depth description of project findings.