Urban / Wildland Interface Fires

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Urban / Wildland Interface Fires


Gordon Graham
Category: Fire

Gordon Graham here with Today’s Tip from Lexipol. Today’s Tip is for fire.

Fires in the wildland interface can occur anywhere.  Learn your role now.

Today’s tip is for firefighters and it’s about some things we need to think about when structural firefighters are responding to fight wildland fires and the wildland/urban interface. 

There seems to have been a dramatic increase in the number of large fires that start in rural areas and then move into populated areas.   

When a fire threatens populated areas, firefighters who work in more urban areas are forced into the wildland/urban interface. Many times, these men and women may not be familiar with fighting wildland fires. Some may not have had any training or experience at all. They will be unprepared for what they are about to face.  

For these firefighters, this is a high risk-low frequency event. And the results could be tragic.  

Here are a few things for you to consider. 

First, review your agency’s policy and procedures on what to do during such an event. Understand the role your department will play in helping to bring these incidents under control.  

Second, make sure you have the right training for the job. Wildland firefighting tactics require specific tasks and assignments. These tasks need to be carried out quickly and correctly. If you haven’t had this kind of training before, or if your skills are rusty, now is the time to get up to speed.  

Third, make sure that you understand the 10 Standard Fire Orders and the 18 Watch Out Situations. This will help ensure that you know what you should be doing on the fire scene. This will also help you be on the lookout for specific conditions so that they can be corrected before they become dangerous. These situations are certainly predictable. And you all know by now that Predictable is Preventable. 

Fires in the wildland interface can occur anywhere. Before it happens, learn your role in fighting a wildland fire. Make sure your policies, procedures, and training are up to par so that you and your organization are ready for the next one. 

And that’s Today’s Tip from Lexipol. Gordon Graham signing off. 

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