Wildland Interface Issues

Looking back at the amount of training that a new firefighter received, it is evident that most of the material is aimed at structural firefighting with a very Topic: Wildland Interface Issues Time Required: 2 Hours Materials...


Looking back at the amount of training that a new firefighter received, it is evident that most of the material is aimed at structural firefighting with a very

Topic: Wildland Interface Issues

Time Required: 2 Hours

Materials:

 •  Appropriate audio-visual materials

References:

•  Essentials of Fire Fighting, 4th ed., International Fire Service Training Association

• Fire Operations In The Urban Interface, National Wildfire Coordinating Council

Preparation

Motivation: Looking back at the amount of training that a new firefighter received, it is evident that most of the material is aimed at structural firefighting with a very small portion of the time devoted to wildland fire control. This may be due to the proportion of responses to each type of fire in most areas or the relative importance placed on each. While large-scale wildland fires may be infrequent in most areas, they required specialized knowledge, training, and equipment to control. Many of the techniques used in structural firefighting may not be appropriate for a wildland fire.

Objective (SPO): The firefighter will demonstrate a basic knowledge of wildland fire control and the differences with urban fire suppression.

Overview: Wildland Interface Issues

• Structural and Wildland Fire Differences

• Wildland Obstacles

• Safety Considerations

Instructors Notes: In order to better understand the issues related to "wildland/urban interface" fire control, we must first understand what the term means. Wildland/urban interface generally refers to wildland fires that impact on structures.

As part of the drill, it may be beneficial to review the terminology associated with wildland fire control, the types of fuels involved, and basic wildland fire control techniques (direct, indirect, and combination).

Wildland Interface Issues

SPO 1-1 The firefighter will demonstrate a basic knowledge of wildland fire control and the differences with urban fire suppression.

EO 1-1 Describe the basic differences between structural and wildland fire control.

EO 1-2 Identify obstacles that may be encountered in controlling a wildland fire.

EO 1-3 Describe the various safety measures that can be applied to a wildland fire control situation.

Instructional Guide

I. STRUCTURAL AND WILDLAND FIRE DIFFERENCES (EO 1-1)

Common elements of a structural fire

• Development of fire generally limited to available oxygen supply within the structure

• Fire generally confined to the structure or a portion of the structure

• Fire development is dependent on the building contents and materials used in construction

• Structure may be equipped with fire detection and/or suppression systems

• There is generally a specific street address or location given

• Structure is generally accessible to apparatus on at least one side

• Structures may be serviced by municipal water supply

• Interior structure fires not affected by wind or other weather conditions

• May be necessary to vent the structure to release heat

Common elements of a wildland fire

• Unlimited supply of oxygen

• Fire not confined and may even jump natural barriers

• Fuel for wildland fires varies from hardwoods to softwoods to leaves to shrubs to brush or a combination of them

• Wildland are generally not equipped with fire detection and/or suppression systems

• The location of the fire may be vague or incorrect

• Wildland fires may be difficult to access with apparatus especially structural units (may have to rely on smaller units with less water and equipment)

• Most wildland areas are beyond municipal water supplies

• Wind, relative humidiyt, temperature, and precipitation can greatly affect the development of a wildland fire

• Heat is vented to the atmosphere

Fire Behavior

• Fuels

• Subsurface (ground) - roots, duff, and other organic matter that lies under the surface of the ground

• Surface - grass, leaves, downed limbs, slash and brush up to six feet in height

• Aerial (crown) - suspended and upright fuels over six feet in height

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