Safety Zones 2 (LCES)

Operational Engagement
Page Last Modified / Reviewed: 
Mar 2020


Continued from: Safety Zones 1 (LCES)


Safety Zone(s) are locations where the threatened firefighter may find refuge from the danger. Unfortunately, shelter deployment sites have been incorrectly called safety zones. Safety zones should be conceptualized and planned as a location where no shelter is needed. This does not intend for the firefighter to hesitate to deploy their shelter if needed, just if a shelter is deployed the location is not a tree safety zone. Fireline intensity and safety zone topographic location determine safety zone effectiveness.

  • How have you determined the distinction between a safety zone and a deployment zone?
  • Is refuge in a vehicle or house an acceptable tactic?
  • Consider access to the incident. You are often confronted with considerable distances of unburned fuel to cross. How do you manage Lookouts, Communications, Escape Routes, and Safety Zones (LCES)?


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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