10 Standard Fire
• LCES •
ten Standard Firefighting Orders were developed in 1957 by a
task force commissioned by the USDA-Forest Service Chief
Richard E. McArdle. The task force reviewed the records of
16 tragedy fires that occurred from 1937 to 1956. The
Standard Firefighting Orders were based in part on the
successful "General Orders" used by the United States Armed
Forces. The Standard Firefighting Orders are organized in a
deliberate and sequential way to be implemented
systematically and applied to all fire situations.
the Standard Firefighting Orders were incorporated into
firefighter training, the 18 Situations That Shout Watch Out
were developed. These 18 situations are more specific and
cautionary than the Standard Fire Orders and described
situations that expand the 10 points of the Fire Orders. If
firefighters follow the Standard Firefighting Orders and are
alerted to the 18 Watch Out Situations, much of the risk of
firefighting can be reduced.
"Next time you
go into the woods, look up,
look down, look all around."
10 STANDARD FIRE ORDERS
fire aggressively but provide for safety first.
all action based on current and expected fire behavior.
current weather conditions and obtain forecasts.
instructions are given and understood
current information on fire status
in communication with crew members, your supervisor and
safety zones and escape routes
lookouts in potentially hazardous situations
control at all times
Alert, keep calm, think clearly, act decisively
18 WATCHOUT SITUATIONS
- Fire not scouted and sized up.
- In country not seen in daylight.
- Safety zones and escape routes
- Unfamiliar with weather and local
factors influencing fire behavior.
- Uninformed on strategy, tactics,
- Instructions and assignments not
- No communication link with
- Constructing line without safe
- Building fireline downhill with
- Attempting frontal assault on
- Unburned fuel between you and the
- Cannot see main fire, not in
contact with anyone who can.
- On a hillside where rolling
material can ignite fuel below.
- Weather is getting hotter and
- Wind increases and/or changes
- Getting frequent spot fires
- Terrain and fuels make escape to
safety zones difficult.
- Taking a nap near the fire line.
Lookouts / Communication
/ Escape Routes / Safety Zones
radio traffic before transmitting.
you’re going to say before pressing the Push-to-Talk
the Push-to-Talk button, pause briefly (one second), and
then speak into the microphone.
Use clear text
(do not use ten codes).
Do not use
traffic to a minimum.
short and concise.
When making a
call, identify yourself, unit calling, and radio channel
you are transmitting on. For example: Div A, this is
Operations on Command.
channel when conversation is finished. For example: Div A,