10 Standard Fire Orders

Operational Engagement
Page Last Modified / Reviewed: 
Sep 2020


The orders are arranged according to their importance and grouped in a logical sequence. Review and consider Standard Fire Orders as a part of every shift.

  • Did you receive or request an adequate weather briefing, current and predicted fire behavior, wind direction, predicted humidity, fuel moisture, and/or local factors?
  • Do you have a map of the fire? Are topography, type of fuels, direction of the spread defined?
  • Fire behavior group deals with what the firefighter will encounter - weather, fire status, fire behavior.
  1. Keep informed on fire weather conditions and forecasts.
  2. Know what your fire is doing at all times.
  3. Base all actions on the current and expected behavior of the fire.
  • Are you familiar with direction, distance, location, size of escape routes, and safety zones?
  • Discuss the need for a lookout, such as extreme fire behavior, and fire located out of line-of-sight.
  • Discuss the importance of situational awareness.
  • The fireline safety group emphasizes personal safety.
  1. Identify escape routes and safety zones, and make them known.
  2. Post lookouts when there is a possible danger.
  3. Be alert. Keep calm. Think clearly. Act decisively.
  • Review the importance and means of passing tactical decisions and resource movement.
  • Review other factors influencing potential changes in tactics, which could affect control of your forces.
  • The Organizational Control group is centered around tactical decisions.
  1. Maintain prompt communications with your forces, your supervisor, and adjoining forces.
  2. Give clear instructions and ensure they are understood.
  3. Maintain control of your forces at all times.
  • After you have considered, discussed, and acted on the previous nine orders:
  1. Fight fire aggressively, having provided for safety first.


Additional Resources

Incident Management Situation Report (IMSR)
Incident Response Pocket Guide (IRPG), PMS 461
NWCG Standards for Helicopter Operations, PMS 510
RT-130, Wildland Fire Safety Training Annual Refresher (WFSTAR)
Interagency Standards for Fire and Fire Aviation Operations (Red Book)
Wildland Fire Lessons Learned Center

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