National Wildfire Coordinating Group

Escape Routes 1 (Take 5@2)


3. Base all actions on current and expected behavior of the fire. A firefighter looks at his watch, which reads 2 PM, while a fire actively grows in steep terrain and heavy timber.

3. Base all actions on current and expected behavior of the fire.

Fire managers make decisions throughout the day on how to suppress fires and best use resources while protecting life and property. This Standard Firefighting Order depicts a firefighter observing increased fire behavior during a time of day when temperatures are high and relative humidity is low.

Read about all 10 Standard Firefighting Orders.

Consider the following scenario:

It’s 1400, you have been working all morning. How far away are your safety zones? Safety zones are only good if you can reach them. How long will your escape route take? What is the condition of the crew? How long will it take your slowest member to get there? Are your expectations realistic?

Look at the times below. If your fire blows up right now, can you, and every member of your crew, make it to your safety zone?

Graphic showing the minutes it took from blowup to burnover on the following fires: Loop, Griffith Park - 5 minutes.; Dude - 8 minutes; South Canyon - 9 minutes;  Rainbow Springs, Spanish Ranch - 10 minutes; Hauser Creek - 11 minutes; Cart, Blackwater - 15 minutes; Pepper Run - 17 minutes; Cramer - 24 minutes; Rock Creek - 30 minutes; Toulumne - 39 minutes; Battlement Creek - 48 minutes; Thirty-mile Canyon - 50 minutes; Yarnell Hill - 52 minutes; Blue Ribbon - 60 minutes.

The “Take 5@2” safety messages are a cooperative project of 6 Minutes for Safety, the Wildland Fire Safety Training Annual Refresher (WFSTAR), NIFC External Affairs, the NWCG Leadership Committee, the NWCG Risk Management Committee, and the Wildland Fire Lessons Learned Center.


Also see: Escape Routes Part 2, and Escape Routes Part 3



Operational Engagement
Page Last Modified / Reviewed: 
Aug 2023

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