10 Standard Fire Orders

Operational Engagement
Page Last Modified / Reviewed: 
Dec 2017


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

  • Did you receive or request adequate weather briefing, current and predicted fire behavior, wind direction, predicted humidity, fuel moisture, local factors?

  • Do you have map of the fire? Is 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 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 lookout, such as extreme fire behavior, fire located out of line-of-sight.

  • Discuss importance of the situational awareness.

  • Fireline safety group emphasizes personal safety.
  1. Identify escape routes and safety zones and make them known.

  2. Post lookouts when there is possible danger.

  3. Be alert. Keep calm. Think clearly. Act decisively.
  • Review 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.

  • 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 insure they are understood.

  3. Maintain control of your forces at all time.
  • 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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