Unexploded Ordnance

Misc Fireline Hazards
Page Last Modified / Reviewed: 
Nov 2019


Recognizing unexploded ordnance (UXO) is the first and most important step in reducing the risk of injury or death. UXO poses risk of injury or death to anyone in the vicinity.

Safety measures include:

  • If you see a UXO, stop. Do not move closer.
  • Never remove anything near a UXO.
  • Clearly mark the UXO area with flagging, etc.
  • Keep a minimum of 1000 feet away from any UXO that is on fire.
  • Report discovery of a UXO to your immediate supervisor and/or dispatch.

The following types of UXO may be encountered on military, former military and non-military sites:

  • Small arms munitions.
  • Guided missiles.
  • Rifle grenades.
  • Rockets.
  • Projectiles.
  • Mortars.
  • Bombs.
  • Hand grenades.
  • Projected grenades.
  • Dynamite.

UXO may be found fully intact or in fragments. All UXO, whether intact or in fragments, present a potential hazard.

Deteriorated UXO presents a particular hazard because it may contain chemical agents that become exposed.


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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