Objectives Discuss LCES Discuss the Ten Standard Fire Orders Discuss the Eighteen “Watch Out” Situations Discuss the common denominators on fatality fires
LCES (AKA “Laces”) Invented by Paul Gleason while Superintendent of the Zigzag Hotshot Crew Conceived June 26, 1990 while working the Dude Fire in the Tonto National Forest near Phoenix, AZ which killed 6 firefighters
LCES Lookouts Communications Escape Routes Safety Zones LCES essentially covers all 10 standing orders and all 18 watch-outs. (And is a lot easier to remember!!)
10 Standing Orders Implemented in 1957 by a US Government task force studying the death of 13 smokejumpers in Montana in 1949 Shortly after creation, were incorporated into Wildland Firefighter training nationwide
10 Standing Orders 1. Keep informed on fire weather conditions and forecasts. 2. Know what your fire is doing at all times. 3. Base all actions on current and expected behavior of the fire. 4. Identify escape routes and make them known. 5. Post lookouts when there is possible danger.
10 Standing Orders 6. Be alert, Keep calm, Think clearly, Act decisively. 7. Maintain prompt communications with your forces, your supervisor, and adjoining forces. 8. Give clear instructions and insure they are understood. 9. Maintain control of your forces at all times. 10. Fight fire aggressively, having provided for safety first.
18 Situations That Shout “Watch Out” Developed Shortly after the Standard Firefighting Orders were incorporated into firefighter training These 18 situations are more specific and cautionary than the Standard Fire Orders Describe 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
18 Situations That Shout “Watch Out” 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 behavior. 5. Uninformed on strategy, tactics, and hazards.
18 Situations That Shout “Watch Out” 6. Instructions and assignments not clear. 7. No communication link with crewmembers/supervisors. 8. Constructing line without safe anchor point. 9. Building fireline downhill with fire below. 10. Attempting a frontal assault on a fire.
18 Situations That Shout “Watch Out” 11. Unburned fuel between you and the fire. 12. Cannot see main fire, not in contact with anyone who can. 13. On a hillside where rolling material can ignite fuel below. 14. Weather is getting hotter and drier. 15. Wind increases and/or changes direction.
18 Situations That Shout “Watch Out” 16. Getting frequent spot fires across line. 17. Terrain and fuels make escape to safety zones difficult. 18. Taking a nap near the fireline.
COMMON DENOMINATORS ON FATALITY FIRES Study of previous wildland firefighter deaths has shown some common factors in nearly all of them Review of these factors is a requirement for refresh training of Red Card personnel
COMMON DENOMINATORS ON FATALITY FIRES Most incidents happen on small fires or on isolated portions of larger fires Most fires are innocent in appearance before the “flare-up” or “blow-ups.” In some cases, tragedies occur in the mop-up stage. Flare-ups generally occur in deceptively light fuels.
COMMON DENOMINATORS ON FATALITY FIRES Fires run uphill surprisingly fast in chimneys, gullies and on steep slopes. Some suppression tools, such as helicopters or air tankers, can adversely affect fire behavior. The blast of air from low flying helicopters and air tankers have been known to cause flare- ups.
Wrapping Up Wildland Firefighting is a low-frequency, high risk event for structural firefighters Periodic review and appropriate use of LCES, the 10 Standing Fire Orders, and the 18 Watch-outs will help reduce some of that risk. Be safe!