National Wildfire Coordinating Group

RT-130, Wildland Fire Safety Training Annual Refresher (WFSTAR)

Fire in the Forest

RT-130 Decorative banner. Group of photos depicting wildland firefighters performing various duties.

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This module presents basic fire ecology, behavior, weather and firefighting techniques.
Category: Operations
Core Component(s): Other Hazards & Safety Issues
Estimated Delivery Time: 1 hour; Video Length: 22:13



Examine historical fire lookouts and the factors that govern fire behavior (fuels, weather, and slope). Explore how the Fire Station Observer used these factors to determine Fire Danger Rating and Burning Index by using a 100-point Fire Danger Meter.

Facilitator Preparation

  • Review the video and module tools.
  • Consider additional activities and discussion questions relevant to the location and agency.

Facilitating the Discussion

  • Show the video.
  • Facilitate a small or large group discussion using the activity and discussion questions.

Conduct Activity (Optional)

  • Allow students 5 to 10 minutes to work together in small or large groups to review findings from the video.
  • Discuss group responses. Facilitate discussion with the questions below.

Discussion Questions

  1. Compare the differences and similarities between the Fire in the Forest video and fire suppression today [consider personal protective equipment (PPE), tools, equipment, weather, fire behavior, fuels, terminology, and attitudes towards fire].
  2. After comparing the past with the present, what is the most interesting similarity or difference to you?  Why does it stand out to you?
  3. How have fire detection and fire lookouts changed over the years?
  4. Considering the changes, are fire lookouts still needed today?


Additional Video Information

This video is also available as a download. (Size 98 MB)​.

Note: For Chrome and Firefox, right click the word download and select Save Link As; for Internet Explorer (IE), right click and select Save Target As.

Download the .srt file for closed captioning (you may need to right click and Save As). For information on how to add closed captioning to a video, see this how to page.


Print This WFSTAR Module




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