Constructing Line Without a Safe Anchor Point

Operational Engagement
Page Last Modified / Reviewed: 
May 2020


When deciding where to build fireline, the following considerations must be weighed:

  • Can you hold the line without the fire hooking under/around you? How do you protect against losing the line and ensure your safety if there is a danger of the fire hooking around you?
  • Are there adequate safety zones and escape routes? Review what constitutes an adequate safety zone and escape route. Who has the responsibility to designate them and continue to make sure they are adequate?
  • Can you develop your starting point into an anchor point? List some good anchor points. Describe how you would develop your starting point into an anchor point.
  • Have you posted good lookouts? Where should the lookout(s) be posted? Who can be a lookout?
  • Do you have good communications? Who do you need to be in contact with? If the communications are not good, what can you do to improve them?
  • To reduce the risks, start the line in another location. Talk about fires where you have had to relocate the line because your anchor point did not hold the fire.
  • Do you have a lookout posted? Can they see the main fire?
  • How have you mitigated Watchout Situation #8?


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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