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...

• Factors affecting wildland fuel burning characteristics

• Fuel size and shape - small and light fuels burn faster than larger heavier fuels

• Horizontal continuity - closer the fuels are together the faster the fire spread because of the effects of heat transfer

• Loading (volume) - amount of fuel present in a given area

• Compactness - spacing between fuels, loosely compacted fuels burn faster than tightly compacted fuels

• Vertical arrangement - height of fuels above the ground can form a fuel ladder

• Moisture content - drier fuels ignite easier and burn with greater intensity than those with higher moisture content

• Chemical content - presence of volatile substances that can enhance combustion, such as oils, resins, was, and pitch



• Mountainous area

• Hills and valleys

• Rugged surfaces

• Trees, heavy brush, and other forage

• Soft and uneven surfaces


• Darkness

• Difficulty in lighting work area

• Dependence on portable lights


• No specific street addresses or less than specific location

• Difficulty in identifying landmarks

• May be some distance from roadways or permanent trails

• No street signs or road markers

• May not be accessible for structural apparatus

• May be difficult to find way back to apparatus, staging area, or command post

• May be difficult to maintain control of personnel (accountability)


The following FIRE ORDERS are generally accepted practice when dealing with a wildland fire. You should discuss one along with the implications for not following them.

• Fight fire aggressively but provide for safety first

• Initiate all action based on current and expected fire behavior

• Recognize current weather conditions and obtain forecasts

• Ensure instructions are given and understood

• Obtain current information on fire status

• Remain in communication with crew members, your supervisor, and adjoining forces

• Determine safety zones and escape routes

• Establish lookouts in potentially hazardous situations

• Retain control at all times

• Stay alert, keep calm, think clearly, and act decisively

The 18 situations that shout "watch out" are warning signs under by forestry services that alert their personnel to a potentially dangerous situation that is developing. You should discuss each one along with the associated implications.

• The fire has not been scouted and sized up

• You are in country that you have not seen in daylight

• Safety zones and escape routes are not identified

• You are unfamiliar with local weather and other factors that may influence fire behavior

• You are uninformed on strategy, tactics, and hazards

• The instruction and assignments you were given are not clear

• You have no communications link with crew or supervisor

• You are constructing firelines without a safe anchor point

• You are building firelines downhill and there is fire below you

• You are attempting a frontal assault on the fire

• There is unburned fuel between you and the fire

• You cannot see the main fire and are not in contact with anyone who can

• You are on a hillside where rolling material can ignite the fuel below you

• The weather is getting hotter and dryer

• The wind is increasing or changing direction

• You are getting frequent spot fires across the line

• Terrain and fuels make escape to your safety zone difficult

• You feel like taking a nap near the fireline

General Safety Considerations

• Always wear and use appropriate personal protective clothing and equipment (may be clothing specifically designed for wildland fire control)

• Protect your engine as well as the structure by keeping the hose bed covered, compartments closed, and windows rolled up

• Park your engine in a safe area, with your front always toward the escape route, do not block escape routes, and back into driveways or narrow access roads