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Wildland Fire Suppression Tactics Reference Guide


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PREFACE & CONTENTS

INTRODUCTION TO REFERENCE GUIDE

  • FIRE ORDERS
  • WATCH OUT SITUATIONS
  • LOOKOUTS, COMMUNICATIONS, ESCAPE ROUTES, SAFETY ZONES
     (LCES)

SECTION 1—FIRE SUPPRESSION PRINCIPLES

SECTION 2—USE OF WATER AND ADDITIVES

  • Types of Pumps
  • Hydraulics
  • Series, Parallel, and Staged Pumping
  • Hose Lays
  • Mopup
  • Tactical Use of Water
  • Surfactants
  • Class A Foam
  • Retardants
  • Firegels

SECTION 3—USE OF FIRE IN CONTROL OPERATIONS

  • Burning Out and Backfiring
  • Types of Fire Spread
  • Ignition Techniques
  • Strip Firing
  • One, Two, Three -Three, Two, One (1-2-3/3-2-1) Firing Concept
  • Head and Strip Head Firing
  • Blowhole Firing
  • Spot Firing
  • Ring Firing
  • Chevron Firing
  • Burn Strip
  • Planning and Conducting Firing Operations
  • Special Firing Considerations
  • Firing Equipment

SECTION 4—MECHANICAL EQUIPMENT

  • Dozers
  • Comparison of Dozers Used For Fireline Construction
  • Dozer Production Rates
  • Dozer Line Construction Principles
  • Tractor Plows
  • Principles of Tractor/Plow Operations
  • Engines
  • Mobile Attack
  • Tandem Tactic
  • Pincer Tactic
  • Envelopment Tactic
  • Stationary Attack
  • Inside-out Tactic
  • Parallel Attack
  • Engine Production Rates

SECTION 5—TACTICAL AIR OPERATIONS

  • Factors Affecting Aircraft Use
  • Factors to Consider in Retardant Aircraft Use
  • Types, Effects, and Use of Retardant
  • Recommended Retardant Coverage Levels
  • Retardant Evaluation Criteria
  • Air Tanker Tactics
  • Principles of Retardant Application

SECTION 6 -WILDLAND/URBAN INTERFACE

  • Kinds of Wildland/Urban Interface
  • Structural Fire Behavior
  • WildlandlUrban Fire Sizeup Considerations
  • Structure Triage
  • WildlandlUrban Interface Firefighting Tactics
  • Structure Full Containment
  • Structure Partial Containment
  • Structure No Containment
  • Structural Firefighting Situations That Shout "Watch Out"
  • Structural Watch Out Situations & Triage Made Easier to Remember

SECTION 7 -FUELS, FIRE BEHAVIOR, AND TACTICS BY GEOGRAPHIC
 AREAS OF THE UNITED STATES

  • Alaska
  • Northwest and Northern Rocky Mountains
  • Southern and Central California
  • Great Basin and Southern Rocky Mountains
  • Southwest
  • Northeast
  • Southeast

GLOSSARY OF TERMS

 

WILDLAND FIRE
SUPPRESSION TACTICS REFERENCE GUIDE

PMS 465
NFES 1256

APRIL 1996


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
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 Gain Time
Hotspotting, Using Temporary Lines To Check Fire Spread And Gain Time

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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