National Wildfire Coordinating Group

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

Watch Out Situations

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

An introduction to the history and intent of the Watch Out Situations and a review of the watch outs.
Category: Operations
Core Component(s): Fire and Aviation Operational Safety;
Human Factors, Communication and Decision Making

Estimated Delivery Time: 30 Minutes; Video Length: 6:10 Minutes



Examine the inception, utilization, and complex interconnectedness of Lookouts, Communications, Escape Routes, and Safety Zones (LCES), the 10 Standard Firefighting Orders, and the 18 Watch Out Situations.

Facilitator Preparation

  • Suggested activity includes watching the Watch Out Situations module (above), LCES, and Standard Firefighting Orders videos then facilitating the discussion for all three modules.
  • Review the videos and module tools.
  • Consider additional activities and discussion questions pertinent to the location and agency.

Facilitating the Discussion

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

Discussion Questions

  1. The Standard Firefighting Orders were first developed in 1957. The recommendation in the original report states that the Fire Orders “are to be committed to memory by all personnel with fire control responsibilities.” What do you and your crew/unit do to help each other remember and understand the 10 Standard Firefighting Orders and 18 Watch Out Situations?
  2. Originally, there were 13 Watch Out Situations, then five were added in 1987. If you could add one more Watch Out, what would it be and why?
  3. The 10 Standard Firefighting Orders, 18 Watch Out Situations, and LCES are just three of the many tools firefighters must use to manage risk and make decisions. What other tools might you use, and where can you find them?
  4. Many of the official risk management and decision-making tools firefighters use today were first developed by personnel in the field. Does your module, crew, or team utilize any other tools that were created internally?


Additional Video Information

This video is also available as a download. (Size 1.4 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.

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



Print This WFSTAR Module




Page Last Modified / Reviewed: 

Please Provide Feedback

NWCG values your constructive input and we thank you for taking the time to provide feedback.

Although contact information is optional, we hope that you provide a way for us to contact you in case we need clarification on your comment. If you would like to be contacted regarding your feedback, you must provide contact information. 

Due to recent hacking behavior, we are temporarily suspending our ability to upload documents.  If you need to attach additional information, please email the file to

This question is for testing whether or not you are a human visitor and to prevent automated spam submissions.