National Wildfire Coordinating Group

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


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

All aspects of acting as a lookout - from responsibilities to situational awareness, communication duties, fire behavior analyzing, noting weather changes, positioning and use of aircraft.
Category: Operations
Core Component(s): Incident Reviews and Lessons Learned;
Human Factors, Communication and Decision Making

Estimated Delivery Time: 30 minutes; Video Length: 7:55



A lookout is one of the most important jobs on the fireline. Discuss the attributes of a good lookout.

Facilitator Preparation

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

Facilitating the Discussion

Discussion Questions

  1. What are the desired qualities, capabilities, knowledge, and responsibilities of a lookout?
  2. What factors should be considered when selecting a lookout location?
  3. How many lookouts are needed?
  4. What items and equipment are necessary to serve as a lookout?
  5. What critical locations does a lookout always need to know?
  6. What does a lookout need to monitor?
  7. What are some of the communication duties of a lookout? What should be done if a lookout doesn’t know how to program a radio?
  8. Can aircraft serve as a lookout? Why or why not?


Additional Video Information

This video is also available as a download. (Size 2 GB)
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.

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