National Wildfire Coordinating Group

Interagency Aerial Ignition Unit

IAIU header graphic.  A helicopter flying over dense smoke from burning timber below. An aerial ignition tank is suspended from the helicopter. An inset photo of a helicopter pilot looking out window to wildland fire below. Decorative.

Mission Statement

The Interagency Aerial Ignition Unit (IAIU) provides national leadership in all areas of aerial ignition operations, equipment, and management. The IAIU promotes and enables, safe, effective, and standardized aerial ignition operations through the development and dissemination of common technical and operational standards.

Primary Objectives

Aerial ignition ground crew ready an ignition tank with fuel while helicopter crew stands in distance next to grounded helicopter. Decorative

  • Develop and maintain a primary aerial ignition standards document such as the NWCG Standards for Aerial Ignition, PMS 501.
  • Establish and implement processes for evaluating aerial ignition operations, equipment and management issues. Identify problems and recommend solutions.
  • Provide oversight of contractor and agency equipment and procedural compliance.
  • Review and approve new aerial ignition equipment, accessories and modifications.
  • Solicit and address field input on all areas of aerial ignition operations, including safety/regulatory compliance, performance, personnel qualifications, training needs, and equipment concerns.
  • Work with the NWCG Training Development Program to develop aerial ignition training products.


Training Materials

Helitorch Training Instructor Guide

Agency-based Position Task Books

Helitorch Red Dragon Training

Helitorch Training

Plastic Sphere Dispenser Training


Eric Graff
NWCG Coordinator: 
Dave Schultz
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