Wildland Fire Suppression Tactics Reference Guide
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INTRODUCTION TO REFERENCE GUIDE
SECTION 2—USE OF WATER AND ADDITIVES
SECTION 3—USE OF FIRE IN CONTROL OPERATIONS
SECTION 4—MECHANICAL EQUIPMENT
SECTION 5—TACTICAL AIR OPERATIONS
SECTION 6 -WILDLAND/URBAN INTERFACE
SECTION 7 -FUELS, FIRE BEHAVIOR, AND TACTICS BY GEOGRAPHIC
SECTION 1 -FIRE SUPPRESSION PRINCIPLES
WHERE TO ATTACK A FIRE
The parts of the fire to be controlled are the head, the flanks, and the rear (see Figure 6).
Figure 6—Parts Of A Fire
Fires are generally attacked where they are most likely to escape and this may require attacking the fire at the head, flanks, rear, or any combination of the three. However, your primary concern is attacking the fire where it can be done safely. A good practice is to always pick an anchor point to start fighting the fire and to prevent the fire from outflanking you.
Fireline intensity (flame length) and rate of spread generally determine which part of the fire to attack in both initial attack and suppressing large fires. Figure 2-Fire Suppression Limitations Based On Flame Length, page 12, provides guidance to make decisions on which part of the fire to attack and whether to make a direct, parallel, or indirect attack.
A technique to attack a fire where it is most likely to escape or stop hotter burning portions of a fire is called hotspotting (see Figure 7).
Figure 7—Hotspotting, Using Temporary Lines To Check Fire Spread And
Hotspotting can be used to cool hot portions of a fire and allow firefighters more time to construct fireline or cool certain portions of a fire to prevent it from making a run. Hotspotting can be accomplished by building temporary check lines or applying dirt or water to knock down and cool hot portions of a fire. Hotspotting can be dangerous to firefighters because they are working without an anchor point, can be out-flanked by fire, and they are exposing themselves to intense burning portions of a fire.
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