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18 WATCHOUT SITUATIONS -My System for Memorization-

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1 18 WATCHOUT SITUATIONS -My System for Memorization-
by Dylan Rader

2 1) Fire not scouted or sized up.
Scouting the fire is the first thing that is done by the Initial Attack IC (Incident Commander). This is why it is the first Watch-Out.

3 2) In country not seen in daylight.
You use your 2 eyes to see. Easy to associate 2 eyes with Watch-Out #2. Often times, IA resources will arrive on fires after dark.

4 3) Escape routes and safety zones not identified.
To remember this I break the sentence into 3 parts. | Escape routes | safety zones | not identified | This helps me to associate this with WO #3.

5 4) Unfamiliar with weather and other local factors influencing fire behavior.
To remember this, think of TV Channel 4 Weather. Also, remember both WO #4 and #14 deal with weather.

6 5) Uninformed on strategies, tactics, and hazards.
This is another one that I break down. Remember these 5 words: UNIFORMED on STRATEGIES, TACTICS, AND HAZARDS.

7 6) Instructions and assignments not clear.
To remember this one flip the six over and straighten the tail and it looks like a magnifying glass. The magnifying glass is used to sharpen or clear up an image. 6

8 7) No communication link with crew members, supervisors, or adjoining forces.
To remember this one I think of John Elway, who was #7 (and also the greatest QB ever). When Dan Reeves was his coach, Elway called his own plays. In other words, no commo with his coach (supervisor).

9 8) Constructing line without a safe anchor point.
The number 8 is also the symbol for infinity. It has no starting or ending point. 8

10 9) Constructing fireline downhill with fire below.
On a topographic map, the peak of a hill is a circle (if it is a perfectly circular peak). The line points down from the peak on the #9. Hence, downhill from the peak.

11 10) Attempting a frontal assault on the fire.
To remember this one think of the firefighter as the 1 and the approaching fire front as the 0. The 1 is in front of the 0.

12 11) Unburned fuel between you and the fire.
This one is easy. Just imagine the space in between the lines of the 11 as unburned fuel. UNBURNED FUEL YOU FIRE

13 12) Can not see main fire. Not in contact with anyone who can.
You have to use your imagination again for this watchout. You are the 1 , the curved portion of the 2 is a ridgeline, and the tail of the two is the fire. 1 2 You Ridgeline Fire Valley

14 13) On a hillside where rolling material can ignite fuel below you.
If you flip the 3 of #13 over on it’s side it looks like 2 hills. Helps to remember hillside. 3

15 14) Weather getting hotter and drier.
Remember how WO #4 and #14 both deal with weather. 14 is greater than 4 ( =14). Because the number 14 is greater, weather is getting hotter and drier. +10 = #14

16 15) Wind increases and or changes direction.
The number 5 in 15 goes every direction. Associate this with the wind changing direction remember the wind is also increasing.

17 16) Getting frequent spot fires across the line.
Think of the circular part of the 6 as a spot fire, the tail of the six as the line. There is a spot across the line.

18 17) Terrain and fuels make escape to safety zones difficult.
To remember this one imagine that the safety zone is at the top part of the 7 in #17 and you are at the bottom. It would be impossible to climb that slope as an escape route. Safety Zone Escape Route You

19 18) Taking a nap near the fireline.
I have never met a firefighter who can not remember this one.

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