Operational Briefings

Fire Communication
Page Last Modified / Reviewed: 
Mar 2022


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)
10 Standard Firefighting Orders, PMS 110 
18 Watch Out Situations, PMS 118
10 & 18 Poster, PMS 110-18
NWCG Incident Response Pocket Guide (IRPG), PMS 461
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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