10 Standard Firefighting Orders
The 10 Standard Firefighting Orders and the 18 Watch Out Situations, as referenced in the Incident Response Pocket Guide (IRPG), PMS 461, provide wildland firefighters with a set of consistent best practices and a series of scenarios to be mindful of when responding to a wildland fire.
The orders are arranged according to their importance and grouped in a logical sequence: fire behavior, fireline safety, and organizational control.
Review and consider Standard Firefighting Orders as a part of every shift.
- Did you receive or request an adequate briefing, including weather, 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, fuel types, and spread direction defined?
The Fire Behavior group addresses conditions the firefighter will encounter – weather, fire status, and fire behavior.
- Keep informed on fire weather conditions and forecasts.
- Know what your fire is doing at all times.
- Base all actions on the current and expected behavior of the fire.
- Are you familiar with direction, distance, location, and size of escape routes and safety zones?
- Discuss the need for a lookout, such as extreme fire behavior or a fire located out of your line-of-sight.
- Discuss the importance of situational awareness.
The Fireline Safety group emphasizes personal safety.
- Identify escape routes and safety zones, and make them known.
- Post lookouts when there is possible danger.
- Be alert. Keep calm. Think clearly. Act decisively.
- Review the importance and means of sharing 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.
- Maintain prompt communications with your forces, your supervisor, and adjoining forces.
- Give clear instructions and be sure they are understood.
- Maintain control of your forces at all times.
- After you have considered, discussed, and acted on the previous nine orders:
- Fight fire aggressively, having provided for safety first.
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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