Long Term Fire Analyst

LTAN decorative banner: photos depicting LTAN position. LTAN Position Description: Provides probabilistic and deterministic information on long-term fire advancement, fire behavior, and spread direction, based on local information, topography, historic and current fire spread, and with historic and current fire weather data.

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LTAN Incident Position Description

The Long Term Fire Analyst (LTAN) 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. An LTAN may provide leadership for other assigned LTANs. The LTAN reports to the Fire Behavior Analyst (FBAN), Situation Unit Leader (SITL), or Planning Section Chief (PSC) and works in the Plans functional area.
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Leadership Level 3, Leader of People (Develop Intent)

  • For additional information review Level 3 description, expected behaviors and knowledge, suggested development goals, and self-study opportunities.

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, 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 Incident Meteorologist (IMET), technical specialist, Field Observer (FOBS), Fire Effects Monitor (FEMO), additional LTAN/FBAN, and Air Resource Advisor (ARA), if not already assigned.
  • Obtain briefing from previous shift/assignment IMET/FBAN/LTAN 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.

Supervise and Direct Work Assignments

  • 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 Long Term 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.
  • Lead long term strategy or cooperators strategy meetings as necessary.
  • 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 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 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 analyzes 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 up to date with 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 projected changes to fire trajectory 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 fire behavior information to support planning, decision documents, and strategic direction [e.g., wildland fire decision support documentation, Incident Status Summary (ICS-209), coordination calls].
  • Select the applicable tools for deterministic and/or probabilistic fire behavior analysis.
  • Create a FireFamilyPlus 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 analyzes and forecasts.
  • Identify and monitor burn periods and thresholds for active fire behavior.
  • Arrange aerial recon of the fire as necessary.
  • Demonstrate understanding of NFDRS2016, Natural Fuels Photo Series, and CFFDRS in applicable fuel types. 
  • Demonstrate ability to access weather station information, weather observations and NFDRS indices using appropriate fire danger processing application.
  • Access seasonal trend analyses and identify potential season-ending events.

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, accountability).
  • Notify operations personnel when entering their area of responsibility and request information about specific fireline safety preparations and plans.
  • Use maps, compass, Global Positioning System (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 units 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.
  • Conduct and/or participate in After Action Reviews (AAR).
  • Provide input to the Incident Management Team (IMT) on how fire behavior products can be integrated and how to effectively utilize the LTAN within team functions.

Manage Risk

  • Apply the Risk Management Process as stated in the NWCG 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 (e.g., firing operation plans or burn plans, etc.) as needed.
  • Maintain a record of your observations and assumptions around fire weather and fire behavior.
  • Maintain a record of all Maps that are utilized (labeled, 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, unforecasted 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 (e.g., with incoming IMT or replacement).
  • Brief replacement before leaving the incident about the incident history (e.g., facilities, established timeframes, and schedules, personnel, individuals serving as information support, etc.). 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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