Wildland Urban Interface - Structure Protection
The primary consideration of any operation is to assure firefighter and public safety. It is a must to assess potential fire behavior, ingress/egress routes, nature of the threat, hazardous materials, and available water supplies before engaging in the protection of any structure.
Factors that may make an attempt to save a structure too dangerous include:
- The fire is making a sustained run and there is little or no clearance between the structure and the fuel.
- The fire behavior is extreme; spot fires are numerous and the spread is outpacing containment.
- Water supply will not last as long as the threat of the fire.
- The fire intensity dictates that you leave the fire area immediately.
- The structure is constructed of wood and has a wood shake roof.
- The roof of the structure is more than one-quarter involved.
- There is fire inside of the structure, or windows are broken and there is no way to quickly repair them.
- You cannot safely remain at the structure because your escape route could become unusable.
When implementing a plan to protect structures, consider the following:
- Do not enter a burning structure unless you are trained, equipped, and authorized. Firefighter safety and survival is the number one priority.
- Always stay mobile and wear all personal protective equipment (PPE).
- Back in equipment to allow for a quick escape.
- Coil a short, charged line with a fog nozzle on your engine for safety and quick knockdown capability.
- Don’t make long hose lays.
- Reserve at least 100 gallons of water in your tank.
- Check the road system before the fire approaches. Know bridge limits, alternate access routes, and turnarounds for your vehicle and other support vehicles.
- Determine if residents are home. Leave the inside and outside lights on, regardless of the time of day. Close the garage door.
- Place the owners’ ladder at a corner of the home on the side with the least fire threat.
- Coil and charge garden hoses.
- Check and mark hazardous materials (e.g., Liquefied Propane Gas [LPG] tanks, pesticides, and paint storage.
- 10 & 18 Poster, PMS 110-18
- 10 Standard Firefighting Orders, PMS 110
- 18 Watch Out Situations, PMS 118
- Interagency Standards for Fire and Fire Aviation Operations (Red Book)
- NWCG Incident Response Pocket Guide (IRPG), PMS 461
- NWCG Standards for Helicopter Operations, PMS 510
- RT-130, Wildland Fire Safety Training Annual Refresher (WFSTAR)
- Wildland Fire Lessons Learned Center
Have an idea or feedback?
Share it with the NWCG 6MFS Subcommittee.