Operational Briefings

Fire Communication
Page Last Modified / Reviewed: 
May 2021


Operational briefings are critical to safe fire operations. To ensure a consistent and effective briefing, a standardized briefing checklist should always be used. The following checklist is printed on the inside back cover of the Incident Response Pocket Guide (IRPG), PMS 461:


  • Fire name, location, map orientation, other incidents in the area
  • Terrain influences
  • Fuel type and conditions
  • Fire weather (previous, current, and expected)
  • Winds, relative humidity (RH), temperatures, etc.
  • Fire behavior (previous, current, and expected): Time of day, alignment of slope and wind, etc.


  • Command:  Incident Commander (IC)/immediate supervisor)
  • Leader’s intent:  Overall objectives/strategy
  • Specific tactical assignments
  • Contingency plans
  • Medevac plan:  Personnel, equipment, transport options, contingency plans


  • Communication Plan: tactical, command, air-to-ground frequencies, cell phone numbers, etc.


  • Other resources:  working adjacent and those available to order
  • Aviation operations
  • Logistics:  Transportation, supplies and equipment

Risk Management:

  • Identify known hazards and risks
  • Identify control measures to mitigate hazards /reduce risk
    • Include LCES
  • Identify trigger points for reevaluating operations

Questions or Concerns?


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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