Crew Briefing


Before starting action on any fire each crew member must attend a briefing session that will cover such things as who is in charge, hazards, escape routes, safe areas, evacuation procedures, weather conditions, the action plan, communications method, each crew member’s specific job and any other information pertinent to fire line safety. If you arrive on a fire after firefighting activities has started, make sure you receive a full briefing before commencing work.

All crew members shall work with a “buddy” and not wander away from each other or their assigned area.

Working on the Fire Line


Firefighters must exercise caution at all times while working on or near wildland fires. Be aware of the following hazards; Look up for snags, broken limbs (widow makers), and leaning trees. Be aware of any helicopters working near you. Never work within 1.5 times the height of any snag or dangerous tree. Never work within an excluded area as established by a dangerous tree assessor.

Look down for uneven ground, tripping hazards, loose rocks and logs, wet and slippery surfaces, ash filled holes, areas of fresh retardant drop, barbed wire and other human made hazards.

Look around at general lay of the land, the fire’s edge and where it is spreading, escape routes, steep slopes, cliffs and any land features that would impede a safe retreat.

If the firefighter is involved in burning-off operations, extreme caution should be used when filling and using a drip torch. Always be aware of the burning conditions and have a minimum of two escape routes and safe areas available to use.

Avoid exposure to intense flame heat or smoky conditions. If you must work in the smoke, use some form of mask or smoke filter and take frequent breaks away from the smoke.

Work at least 3 meters away from the person next to you. Carry tools at waist height, not over your shoulder. While crossing a slope, carry your tool on the downhill side. Never work below any active heavy machinery. Carry and store tools so as not to endanger yourself or others. Stay alert at all times as conditions are always changing. Never remove your safety helmet when in the forest or on the fire line.

At no time should there be any sort of horseplay on the fire line.

Never work up-slope of a fire if there is unburned fuel between you and the head of the fire.