Fire Behavior Analyst

FBAN decorative banner: photos depicting FBAN position. FBAN Position Description: The Fire Behavior Analyst (FBAN) is responsible for collecting weather data, developing strategic and tactical fire behavior information, predicting fire growth, and interpreting fire characteristics for use by incident overhead.

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FBAN Incident Position Description

NOTE: This Incident Position Description (IPD) is under development. Learn more about IPDs and other NWCG improvement efforts on our Systems Improvement Page. Please contribute to this effort by providing feedback via the Comment button on this page.

The Fire Behavior Analyst (FBAN) is responsible for collecting weather data, developing strategic and tactical fire behavior information, predicting fire growth, and interpreting fire characteristics for use by incident overhead. The FBAN may provide leadership for Incident Meteorologists (IMET), other assigned FBANs, and Long Term Analysts (LTANs). The FBAN reports to the Situation Unit Leader (SITL) or Planning Section Chief (PSC) and works in the Planning functional area.
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Prepare and Mobilize

  • Ensure individual readiness.
  • Gather critical information pertinent to the assignment (e.g., weather forecasts, climatology, critical fire weather patterns, pocket cards, previous observed fire behavior, and local anomalies).
  • Travel to and check in at assignment.
  • Check in with the incident supervisor and/or dispatch when arriving at the incident.
  • Review Incident Action Plan (IAP) and obtain briefing, objectives, and intent from supervisor.
  • Consider the need for an IMET, Technical Specialists (THSP), Field Observers (FOBS), Fire Effects Monitors (FEMO), additional LTANs or FBANs, and Air Resource Advisors, if not already assigned.
  • Obtain briefing from previous shift/assignment IMET and/or FBAN as necessary.

Build the Team

  • Assemble and validate readiness of assigned personnel and equipment.
  • Establish and communicate chain of command, reporting procedures, risk management processes, and radio frequency management.
  • Establish a common operating picture with supervisors and subordinates.
  • Participate in operational briefings and other meetings as directed.
  • Brief assigned personnel.
  • Identify assigned resources and maintain accountability.
  • Establish and maintain positive relationships and clear expectations with assigned personnel.
  • Ensure logistical needs are met for assigned personnel.
  • Ensure working environment needs are met for assigned personnel.
  • Complete daily review of staffing requirements and project future needs.

Lead, Supervise, Direct

  • Model leadership values and principles. Provide positive influence. Emphasize teamwork.
  • Establish and communicate objectives, priorities, work assignments, and performance expectations.
  • Identify, analyze, and use relevant situational information to make informed decisions and take appropriate actions.
  • Adjust actions based on changing information and evolving situation awareness. Develop and implement contingency plans. Communicate changing conditions to assigned resources and supervisor.
  • Monitor performance and provide immediate and regular feedback to assigned personnel.

Perform Fire Behavior Analyst-Specific Duties

  • Attend agency briefings and debriefings as directed.
  • Ensure host unit direction and policies are applied.
  • Inform and support the incident decision process, including the relevancy of incident objectives.
  • Establish accountability and contact procedures for assigned resources during incident travel and when off-duty.
  • Establish and maintain appropriate span of control.
  • Identify and anticipate operational needs and request additional resources and/or replacements as needed.
  • Consider the need to order additional weather stations. Work with IMET and Operations personnel to establish locations for additional weather stations.
  • Ensure work assignments are completed and special instructions are followed. Monitor work progress and evaluate incident situations.
  • Obtain regular updates from subordinates and/or adjacent resources.
  • Communicate Fire Weather Watches/Warnings, Spot Weather Forecasts, and Fire Weather Forecasts to fireline resources. 
  • Ensure that weather data is collected and monitored to support validation of analyses and forecasts.
  • Ensure appropriate weather information is provided to other functional areas as scheduled and requested.
  • Monitor and address air quality impacts to personnel and the public. Consider potential for smoke impacts to roads, communities, and incident facilities.
  • Request current weather observation and validate your forecast. 
  • Remain apprised of current fire activity level.
  • Anticipate today‚Äôs next big changes and communicate concerns to those who could be impacted. 
  • Immediately notify Command, Operations, Planning, and/or Logistics sections of changes in fire weather or fire behavior that may affect public and firefighting safety.
  • Characterize fuels (fuel types, loadings, moistures) adjacent to your fire.
  • Inventory significant terrain features ahead of the fire to help determine how and where fire may move.
  • Monitor the sky for cloud and smoke indicators.
  • Estimate anticipated fire behavior in view of the current situation and the expected changes. 
  • Monitor fire behavior to validate predictions, document behavior, and anticipate potential safety problems.
  • Provide weather and fire behavior information to support planning, decision documents, and strategic direction [e.g., wildland fire decision support documentation, Incident Status Summary (ICS 209), or coordination calls].
  • Select the applicable tools for deterministic and/or probabilistic fire behavior analysis. 
  • Create a Fire Family Plus database with representative Remote Automated Weather Station (RAWS) sites for the fire area to facilitate review of climatology and local fire history data. 
  • Observe the fire environment and the resulting fire behavior to understand critical factors and validate assumptions, inputs, and conclusions from analyses and forecasts.
  • Identify and monitor burn periods and thresholds for active fire behavior. 
  • Arrange aerial recon of the fire for self and the IMET as necessary. 

Perform Fireline Duties

  • Recon area of responsibility and assess feasibility of assigned objectives. Consult with supervisor on resource needs and suggest adjustments as necessary.
  • Coordinate travel to and from fireline (e.g., travel routes, communication procedures, and accountability).
  • Notify operations personnel when entering their area of responsibility and request information about specific fireline safety preparations and plans.
  • Use maps, compass, GPS and other tools and applications to gather information and navigate on incidents.
  • Request fireline resources to collect, document, and report weather observations, as needed.
  • Prepare to work with RAWS technicians or local personnel to deliver and assemble portable RAWS in the field.
  • Prepare to spend one or more operational shifts with IMET in the field.
  • Monitor fire behavior to validate predictions, document behavior, and anticipate potential safety problems.

Communicate and Coordinate

  • Follow established processes and chain of command for collecting, producing, and distributing information. 
  • Ensure clear understanding of expectations and timely communication within and across Incident Command System (ICS) functional areas and chain of command.
  • Establish communications and exchange necessary briefings/information with the following:
    • Support resources
    • Adjacent resources
    • Supervisor
    • Other ICS functional areas
  • Communicate effectively using multichannel radios. Prepare and program radios for assignment. Use plain language and ICS terminology.
  • Ensure assigned personnel have established radio and/or phone communications with you and other functional areas as appropriate.
  • Provide input to the team on how fire behavior products can be integrated and how to effectively utilize the FBAN within team functions.
  • Conduct and/or participate in After Action Reviews (AAR).

Manage Risk

  • Apply the Risk Management Process as stated in the Incident Response Pocket Guide (IRPG), PMS 461:
    • Identify Hazards.
    • Assess Hazards.
    • Develop Controls and Make Risk Decisions.
    • Implement Controls.
    • Supervise and Evaluate.
  • Monitor for signs and symptoms of fatigue, illness, or injury. Mitigate appropriately.
  • Account for location, health, safety, and welfare of assigned personnel.
  • Submit accident/incident reports with pertinent forms (SAFECOM, SAFENET, agency-specific forms) through established chain of command.


  • Complete, authorize, ensure timeliness of, and route as required: 
  • Maintain a record of fire behavior forecasts, weather forecasts, transition documents, and specialized reports/forecasts (firing operation plans or burn plans) as needed.
  • Maintain a record of observations and assumptions around fire weather and fire behavior.
  • Maintain a record of all maps that are utilized (fire spread projections, fuel models, points of concern/values at risk, etc.).
  • Record what risks were assessed and why, and what the consequences may be.
  • Record specific events with timeframes (e.g., change of strategy/tactics, significant events, un-forecasted weather, and resulting impacts on fire behavior).
  • Build, maintain, and document electronic filing structure for electronic resources, model inputs, and incident data. 


  • Plan for demobilization. Brief and coordinate with assigned resources on demobilization procedures and responsibilities. Ensure incident and agency demobilization procedures and work/rest driving standards are followed.
  • Prior to demobilization coordinate transfer of position duties. 
  • Brief replacement before leaving the incident about the incident history (e.g., facilities, established timeframes and schedules, personnel, individuals serving as information services). Work one operational period with replacement if possible.
  • Return equipment and supplies to the appropriate unit. 
  • Complete demobilization checkout process before being released from the incident.
  • Upon demobilization, report status to home unit including reassignment or estimated time of arrival (ETA) to home unit.


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