18 Situations that "Shout Watch Out!"

They were developed from studying tragedy fires where someone lost their life or was seriously injured. In just about every fire burn/injury report you can see where one or more (if not all) of these situations were present. It is important to understand that these are not the "Situations that shout, STOP AND RUN" they are situations that we should recognize as presenting a higher level of danger and take appropriate steps to mitigate them.

  1. Fire not scouted and sized up.
  2. In country not seen in daylight.
  3. Safety zones and escape routes not identified.
  4. Unfamiliar with weather and local factors influencing fire behaviour.
  5. Uninformed on strategy, tactics and hazards.
  6. Instructions and assignments not clear.
  7. No communication link with crew members or supervisor.
  8. Constructing line without safe anchor point.
  9. Building fireline downhill with fire below.
  10. Attempting frontal assault on fire.
  11. Unburned fuel between you and fire.
  12. Cannot see main fire, not in contact with someone who can.
  13. On a hillside where rolling material can ignite fuel below.
  14. Weather becoming hotter and drier.
  15. Wind increases and/or changes direction.
  16. Getting frequent spot fires across line.
  17. Terrain and fuels make escape to safety zones difficult.
  18. Taking a nap near fireline.

Last updated 4 November 2014