Taking a Nap Near The Fireline

Operational Engagement
Page Last Modified / Reviewed: 
Mar 2020


Firefighting is often exhausting work and firefighters can find themselves needing to sleep while on the fireline.  Before pausing to rest, firefighters must weigh the following considerations:

  • Are lookouts posted? Discuss who that lookout can be. Can the lookout on the knob across the draw watch over you, or does it need to be your partner on the fireline alternating rest times?
  • Is the area free of hazards (falling snags or rolling materials, etc.)? Discuss what you need to do to create a safe resting area.
  • Are you still within agency work and rest guidelines? Review what these guidelines are.
  • Does your crew need a break? Have they been pushed too hard? Talk about situations where you need to simply take yourself and/or your crew off the fire for uninterrupted rest.

To reduce risks:

  • Keep lookouts posted; rotate lookouts.
  • Communicate crew conditions and status to supervisor or chain-of-command contact.
  • Have firefighters discuss ways that they find to rest on the fireline and suggestions for methods to alternate shifts for more effective firefighting.


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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