Wildfire Glossary

This glossary is copied and pasted from the old WildlandFire.com site. I didn’t compile it, I just copied and pasted it for the convenience of users here. To find specific terms without having to scroll through the whole list, use Ctrl-F on PC and Cmd-F on Mac. Due to the length of the glossary, this will be broken up into 5 posts


Dedicated to the persistence of those who seek to understand. Remember, even if you don’t know all the acronyms that fire people may use, Abercrombie said on 7/14/98, “This page is and will remain committed to those who leave the paved roads and highways to attack wildland fires at their source. And, of course, to all those committed individuals who support them.”

A note from Tiny the R-6 Fire-Pup in 2000: Greetings all, the acronyms below are by NO means a complete list of the acronyms related to fire, some are also miscellaneous acronyms used to shorten speech, or briefly convey thoughts, and there are a few computer based. If you have additional acronyms you think should be added, reply below and I’ll update this post so people don’t have to scroll through a long conversation to see anything that’s been added over time.

Fire Acronyms & Abbreviations

  • #

10 Standards: The 10 Standard Fire Fighting Orders

18 Watch Outs: The 18 Watchout Situations

5100-209: Incident Status Summary covering the previous 24 hour period of large escaped fire, contains incident name, location, area involved, costs, containment, control, weather, resources, acres, etc.

  • A

AC: Area Command, see ACT and UAC.

ACE: Aviation Conference in Education

ACT: Area Command Team, typically assigned to regions experiencing high numbers of simultaneous fires, not necessarily being in the same complex.

AD: Assistant Director. Also, Administrative Deployment

AD#: Administratively Determined, a category of temporary employment on a fire. The number denotes the level of pay. A person hired and compensated under the Pay Plan for Emergency Workers. (casual or emergency)

ADA: Americans with Disabilities Act

ADF: Automatic Direction Finder; An aircraft radio navigational receiver operating in the low frequency bands.

ADFA: The AD Firefighter Association, a non-profit organization that represents all AD EFF Firefighters and AD EFF Crews (AD 1 through 5) concerning issues of pay, training, liability, etc.

ADFF: Aerial Delivered Firefighter Study

ADFMO: Assistant District Fire Management Officer

AED: Automated External Defibrillator

AEU: Almador-El Dorado Unit of CAL FIRE.

AFB: Air Force Base

AFEO: Assistant Fire Equipment Operator (on an engine) also known as an assistant engineer

AFF: Automated Flight Following

AFGE: American Federation of Government Employees (AFL-CIO), firefighter union

AFMO: Assistant Fire Management Officer

AG: Abbreviation for “Arroyo Grande” the helicopter/helirappeller base on the Los Padres NF in CA.

AGL: Above Ground Level. Any fixed wing aircraft certified by the FAA as being capable of transport and delivery of fire suppressant solutions.

AHIMT: All-Hazard Incident Management Team

AID: Aerial Ignition Device: Inclusive term applied to equipment designed to ignite wildland fuels from an aircraft.Includes: Delayed Aerial Ignition Devices ; Helitorch ; Ping-Pong Ball System ; Plastic Sphere Dispenser

AIMS: Aviation Information Management System, a CDF computer program used to track tanker air time, retardant loads, pilot time, and costs

AIRIS: Aerial Infrared Imaging System used by CDF for flying and imaging fireline and hotspots.

AirNet: Aircraft Network: Applies to radio frequencies primarily used for air operations.

A/L: Annual Leave, personal time off accrued in amounts each pay period depending on length of service

ALDS: Automatic Lightning Detection System: An electronic system that detects cloud-to-ground lightning strikes by their electrical discharges and plots their locations.

ALS: Advanced Life Support means paramedics or possibly EMT-Intermediates. ALS care providers can do everything EMTs do as well as start IVs, administer drugs, intubate, read an electrocardiogram (heart monitor), and defibrillate. Most crews have one or two EMT qualified members, but paramedics can be scarce, and without their respective toolkits, they can only do the basics. See also BLS.

AM: As in AM and FM, types of radio broadcasts; also as in AM and PM, morning and evening.

AMIS: Aviation Mishap Information System including SafeComs procedure (See Links Page)

AMR: Appropriate Management Response for fire mgmt flexibility. FS National strategy beginning in 2007; for example whether a fire or part of a fire should have a perimeter control strategy or a suppression strategy or a wildland fire use strategy, etc.; NPS already has AMR.

ANF: Angeles National Forest unit identifier

AOP: Annual Operating Plan (for Fire Weather) A procedural guide which describes fire meteorological services provided within the Geographic Area of responsibility, including the NIFC. The guide is based on the National Interagency Agreement and applicable Geographic Area Memorandum of Agreement.

APA: Accident Prevention Analysis. An accident investigation tool that promotes a learning culture; useful in promoting more widespread organizational Lessons Learned that is based on a storytelling approach using an accident narrative; to create the narrative, witnesses are interviewed by experts; their information is confidential unless it becomes clear there was “reckless and willful disregard for human safety”; the APA identifies causal latent flaws within the organization and usually results in recommendations for the agency to correct them to become a safer organization (HRO). Example: the APA of the Little Venus Incident or the Balls Canyon Incident. From AAR to SAI Hierarchy of Analysis/Investigation for a Learning Organization: AAR –> FLA –>APA–> SAI Contrast FLA and SAI (Serious Accident Investigation, an administrative review with witness statements and individual consequences, potentially including policy outcomes.)

APAT: Accident Prevention Analysis Team (has a team leader like the SAIT)

APCD: Air Pollution Control District, exists at the county or district level

APT: Administrative Payment Team: A team that supports incident agencies by processing payments for resources. Resources may include emergency equipment, casuals, local vendors for supplies, etc.

APHIS: Animal-Plant-Health Inspection Service. Division of Department of Agriculture.

AQRB: Air Quality Review Board

AR: Adjective Rating, a public info component of the NFDRS specific to fire danger: low, moderate, high, very high, extreme.

ARB: Air Resources Board, exists at the state level, for example see CARB

AREP: Agency Representative

ARFF: Aircraft Rescue Fire Fighting

ARTCC: Air Route Traffic Control Centers

ASA: Air Stagnation Advisory

ASAP: Automated Staffing Application Program of the FS fire hireFS Jobs

ASCADS: A BLM-administered, interagency system used as the interagency method of retrieving data from GOES satellites and forwarding to WIMS. It is used for metadata storage and maintenance documentation, and it produces a data watchdog.

ASC: Albuquerque Service Center; FS Finance was stovepiped and moved to Albuquerque at the cost of $400M, which was paid for with congressionally allocated fire funds (2005, 2006)

ASFR: Assistant state forest ranger, CDF. Senior official in the county was the Ranger, then Associate Ranger, then Assistant Ranger. Later changed to Ranger IV down to Ranger I and currently Unit Chief, Deputy Chief, Assistant Chief and Battalion Chief.

ASM: Aerial Supervision Module, light twin-engine airplane that combines the lead plane function and tactical supervision (pilot and air tactical group supervisor (ATGS), 2 people).

ARA: Aircraft Rental Agreement

ARPA: Archaeological Resources Protection Act of 1979; example of training:ARPA – Crime Scene Investigation

A/T: Air Tanker

ATA: Actual time of arrival: Term used in flight planning/following to document time of arrival at a point. (Also used to communicate arrival time of other resources.)

ATD: Actual time of departure: Term used in flight planning/following to document time of departure from a point. (Also used to communicate departure time of other resources.)

ATE: Actual time en route: Term used in flight planning/following to document actual time spent flying (or driving) between points.

ATGS: Air Tactical Group Supervisor – the Air Attack Officer in the air who’s directing the lead planes, tankers, and helicopters to do what the ground crews need.

ATIM: Aircraft Timekeeper

ATMU: Atmospheric Theodolite Meteorological Unit

ATP: Air Tactical Pilot

ATV: All terrain vehicle: Any motorized vehicle designed for or capable of cross-country travel on or immediately over land, water, sand, snow, ice, marsh, swampland, or other terrain. Off-Road Vehicle

AUAUS: Australia

AVUE: Avuedigitalservices.com a site where you can apply digitally for some fire jobs.

AWS: Automatic Weather Station: A non-GOES telemetered weather station that provides hourly observations to a local database

AWOL: Absent without leave.

  • B

BAER: Burned Area Emergency Rehabilitation

BC: Battalion Chief

BD: Brush Disposal, funding from legacy funds for the Forest Service

BDF: San Bernardino National Forest unit identifier

BDU: Battle Dress Utility. It is a specific style “cut” of the current nomex pants. Patterned after the Vietnam military pants where the user has a greater mobility in hiking and can carry a variety of gear in the over-sized pockets.

BDU: San Bernardino Unit of CAL FIRE.


BEU: San Benito-Monterey Unit of CAL FIRE

BGO: Blinding Glimpse of the Obvious, describes the feeling many novices get when taking Doug Campbell’s Fire Signature Prediction method.

BI: Burn Index, predicted fire behavior measured using current and past weather data, heavily influenced by wind speed, and a term of the NFDRS.

BIA: Bureau of Indian Affairs, Department of Interior.

BIFC: Boise Interagency Fire Center, now called National Interagency Fire Center (NIFC)

BIFZ: Burns Interagency Fire Zone

BK: Bendix-King, a radio manufacturer.

BLEVE: Boiling Liquid Expanding Vapor Explosion (eg, propane tank explosion): 1) The failure of a closed container as a result of overpressurization caused by an external heat source. 2) A major failure of a closed liquid container into two or more pieces when the temperature of the liquid is well above its boiling point at normal atmospheric pressure.

BLM: Bureau of Land Management, Department of Interior,BLM Fire and Aviation

BLS: Basic Life Support. Care provided by EMTs who can only perform minimally and non-invasive procedures such as bandaging, splinting, basic and intermediate airway management, oxygen and narcan administration, CPR and defibrillation.

BME: Boise Mobile Equipment, designs, markets, and manufactures engines and other fire apparatus.

BoD: R5 FAM Board of Directors (FMOs of the 18 national forests in CA)

BOHICA: Bend Over Here It Comes Again, a military acronym.

BOI: Boise International Airport

BRP: Blue Ribbon Panel like a large After Action Review with recommendations, especially referring to the BRP on the aging C130 and PB4Y firefighting aircraft in 2003; and the BRP following the 2003 SoCal Firestorm.

BTU: Butte Unit of CAL FIRE. Also British Thermal Unit, Amount of heat required to raise 1 pound of water 1 degree Fahrenheit (from 59.50 to 60.50 F), measured at standard atmospheric pressure.

BTW: By the way

BUD/S: Basic Underwater Demolition/ Seal has a good fitness program, seeNavy Seal.Workouts

BUI: Buildup Index: A relative measure of the cumulative effect of daily drying factors and precipitation on fuels with a ten-day time lag.

Burning period: That part of each 24-hour period when fires spread most rapidly; typically from 10:00 AM to sundown.

  • C

CIIMT: California Interagency Incident Management Team.

CAD: Computer Aided Dispatch. May refer specifically to CHP’s CAD (http://cad.chp.ca.gov)

CAFS: Compressed Air Foam Systems (allows firefighters to “foam and go” rather than sticking around to protect a home), consists of an air compressor (or air source), a water pump, and foam solution.

CAIRS: California All Incident Reporting System

CANSAC: California Smoke and Air Consortium, demonstrating burn days

CAL DOG: California Dozer Operator Group

CAL EMA: California Emergency Management Agency (former name of the state’s Office of Emergency Services)

CAL FIRE: California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection, “red engines”. (Formerly CDF)

CAL MAC: California Multi-Agency Command; the information coordination center established in Sacramento. Tasked to gather timely information from regions, cooperating agencies, the media the director, interested govt leaders and the public.

CARB: California Air Resources Board.

CBO: Congressional Budget Office. CBO provides oversight and offers suggestions on the budget for the legislative branch, primarily Congress. Thus, OMB acting as an agent of the President sets the budget direction that the executive branch adheres to. CBO tries to fact check those figures and tries to see if those figures make sense when they advise Congress on budget decisions.

CDCR: California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation; provide CalFire inmate fire crews; inmate crews annually spend three million hours fighting fires, saving taxpayers $80 million a year.

CDF: California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection, “red engines”.

CD: Slang for Consent Decree.

CDFF: California Department of Forestry Firefighters –the CDF Union (affiliated with CPF and IAFF)

CDL: Commercial Driver’s License — required for certain emergency vehicles. Also California Driver’s License.

CDFLWC: California Department of Forestry-Local Watershed Contract; for example, within Orange County are lands within the City of Anaheim for which the City contracts directly with CDF to provide local watershed fire response within Anaheim’s “Local Responsibility Area”.

CEQ: President’s Council on Environmental Quality

CF: Cluster F***, a descriptive military term saved to describe an extreme screw up done to a number of people

CFA: Country Fire Authority of Victoria Australia

CFAA: California Fire Assistance Agreement, a mutual aid agreement, formerly known as the Five Party Agreement or the Four Party Agreement; an agreement for wildland fire suppression entered into by the State of California: OES and CalFire; and the federal: FS, BLM, NPS, FWS. ICS and NIMS policy must be met.

CFC: California Fuels Committee

CFIT: “controlled flight into terrain,” when pilots flying in smoke, thick clouds or darkness lose their bearing and fly the aircraft into the ground or mountain.

CFP: Cooperative Fire Protection: A staff unit within the branch of State and Private Forestry or Aviation and Fire Management in the National Forest System, USDA Forest Service, that coordinates cooperative fire activities.

CFPA: Cooperative Fire Protection Agreement

CFR: Code of Federal Regulations.

CFSI: Congressional Fire Services Institute

CFT: Reference an individual forest’s Continuity of Operations Plan, 2012 (COOP):Critical Function Team, a pre-selected team which acts as liaison between the CRT and critical function units.

CFU: Community Fire Units in Australia. A group of volunteer local residents trained to protect their own home from bush fires while they await arrival of the NSWFB. Usually established in areas of urban/bushland interface.

CH/HR: Chains per hour; a chain is 66 feet.

CHS: Comprehensive Health Service, a company that arranges the medical screening for the WCT. Suspended in early March ’09.

CHS: Short for “chains” a measure of distance on a fire line. Equals 66 feet.

CIC: Aviation abbreviation for Chico Air Field, Chico CA.

CICCS: California Incident Command Qualification System.

CISD: Critical Incident Stress Debriefing following highly stressful events such as deaths, accidents, and near misses, firefighters participate in counseling with the purpose of receiving emotional and psychological support.

CN: Cyanide, see also Hydrogen Cyanide HCNa HAZMAT

CNF: Cleveland National Forest unit identifier.

CNR: California Northern Region, in contrast with CSR – California Southern Region. Cal Fire breaks California into two parts of the state for controlling resources.

CO: Carbon Monoxide (colorless, odorless, poisonous HAZMAT gas produced by incomplete fuel combustion.) or Colorado (the state) or Contracting Officer (person that arranges and monitors contracts)

CO2: Carbon Dioxide: colorless, odorless, nonpoisonous gas, which results from fuel combustion and is normally a part of the ambient air.

COLA: Cost of Living Allowance used to equalize salaries based on cost of living in different geographic areas

COOP: Cooperative Fire Assistance – CA – Cooperative Fire Program assistance to state, local govt and communities

COR: Contracting Officers Representative

COS: Close of Season, as in rolling up the hose, sharpening the hand tools, winterizing the pumps; alternatively, reference an individual forest’s Continuity of Operations Plan, 2012 (COOP):Critical Operations Staff, forest staff responsible for critical operations.

CPA: An insurance agency providing medical benefits for temporary employees.

CPF: California Professional Firefighters, an organization

CPR: Cardiopulmonary resuscitation

CPS: Campbell Prediction System, information found at www.dougsfire.com.

CTL: Cut To Length, a kind of timber harvester

CRM: Crew Resource Management. Developed in the 70’s by the airline industry to combat a growing number of ‘pilot error’ crashes. The basic principle of CRM is that everyone from the top to the bottom has a voice in safety.

CRS: Can’t Remember Syndrome

CRT: Reference an individual forest’s Continuity of Operations Plan, 2012 (COOP):Critical Response Team, the pre-selected team who directs the forests response to an unforeseen emergency.

CSEA: California State Employees Association. Many CDF employees are members of this union.

CSR: California Southern Region, in contrast with CNR – California Northern RegionCal Fire breaks California into two parts of the state for controlling resources. Also sometimes Customer Service Reps

CSRS: Civil Service Retirement System

CTR: Crew Time Report, filled out daily and submitted to the Time Unit on large fires

CWCG: California Wildfire Coordination Group

CWN: Call When Needed, refers to aircraft that have a call when needed contract with an agency, in contrast to Exclusive Use.

CWPP: Community Wildfire Protection Plan: developed in the collaborative framework established by the Wildland Fire Leadership Council and agreed to by state, tribal, and local government, local fire department, other stakeholders and federal land mgmt agencies managing land in the vicinity of the planning area. Identifies and prioritizes areas for hazardous fuel reduction treatments. Recommends the types and methods of treatment on Fed and non-Fed land that will protect at-risk communities and essential infrastructure. Recommends measures to reduce structural ignitability throughout the community. May address issues such as wildfire response, hazard mitigation, community preparedness, or structure protection.

CYA: Slang for “see ya” or “cover your a**”, or California Youth Authority, depending on context.

CZU: San Mateo-Santa Cruz unit of CAL FIRE.

  • D

DA: Departure from Average Greenness: An NDVI-derived image of vegetation greenness compared to its average greenness for the current week of the year.

DAID: Delayed Aerial Ignition Device

DAPS: Dog and Pony Show

DASHO: Designated Agency Safety and Health Official

DC: Division Chief

DCAPE: Downdraft Convective Available Potential Energy relating to released moisture in buildup and collapse of columns. The 1500 acre Dude Fire in heavy dry Ponderosa Pine fuels would have released on the order of 5 million kilograms of water from combustion into the plume in an otherwise dry air mass from about 6:00 a.m. up to the downburst at about 2:00 p.m.

DFMO: District Fire Management Officer

D###: Dispatch related courses. See course information below.

DBH: Diameter at Breast Height (a tree’s)

DEMO: Demonstration, wherein a job position is being announced and open to all citizens, not just the same agency or current federal employees (which would be Merit or some other category).

DFMO: Duty Fire Management Officer or District Fire Management Officer, depending on context.

DHS: Department of Homeland Security

DISE: Distributed Incident Simulation Exercise: on-line mission rehearsal event providing an individual or team with an experiential learning environment utilizing the National Interagency Incident Management System to “game” a computer generated incident from multiple training locations. (Examples: CBT/WBT Forest Service Wildland Fire Simulation Scenario Editor)

DIVS: Division Supervisor

DNR: Department of Natural Resources, often prefaced by a State name.

DNS: Domain Name System, the method used to convert Internet names to their corresponding Internet numbers

DOA: Department of Agriculture, parent of the USFS; also Delegation of Authority or Dead on Arrival

DOB: Depth of Burn: reduction in forest floor thickness due to fire

DOC: Department of Commerce; Department Operations Center (NIMS)

DOD: Department of Defense

DOE: Department of Energy

DOF: Department of Forestry, often referred to with state abbreviation as a prefix, e.g., FLDOF, Florida Department of Forestry

DOGs: California Dozer Operators Group(DOGs), this group has been around for many years. It is made up of paid professional Fire Dozer Operators and professional contractors who fight fire.

DOI: Department of Interior, parent of the BIA, BLM, NPS, FWS

DOL: Department of Lands

DPA: Direct Fire Protection Area. That area for which a particular fire protection organization has the primary responsibility for attacking an uncontrolled fire and for directing the suppression action.FRA-Federal Responsibility Area: National Forest Land, National Park Lands, BLM Public Lands, National Wildlife refuges, Military Reservations, etc.SRA-State Responsibility Area: Watershed lands designated by the State legislature. These include State Parks but more often are private lands that have watershed characteristics. These lands are always unincorporated, outside of City jurisdictions.LRA-Local Responsibility Area: These lands are private lands outside of watershed areas designated by the state, or lands incorporated into cities.

DOT: Department of Transportation

DP#: Drop point on a fire. Drop points are numbered and mark locations on a fire where people meet, equipment is exchanged, and resources may be stationed.

DSS: Decision Support System for cost containment of large fires

DW: Doublewide, a trailer

DZ: Drop Zone: Target area for airtankers, helitankers, cargo dropping.

  • E

EA: Environmental Assessment (authorized by the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) of 1969). They are concise analytical documents prepared with public input that determine if an Environmental Impact Statement is needed for a project or action. If an EIS is not needed, the EA becomes the doc allowing agency compliance with the NEPA requirements. Also Extended Attack.

EACC: Eastern Area Coordination Center (see GACC)

EAD: Environmental Analysis Document

EAP: Employee Assistance Program for FS employees.

EAS: Emergency Alert System, established by the FCC; using digital equipment, it replaces the old Emergency Broadcast System (EBS) as a tool to warn the public about emergencies.

ECC: Emergency Command Center (or Communications Center)

ECMWF: European Centre for Medium-Range Weather Forecasts, one of the two major Weather Prediction Models; the other is Global Forecast System, or GFS.

EE: Emergency Employee or Emergency Hire, some are on call.

EENET: Emergency Education Network (FEMA)

EEO: Equal Employment Opportunity

EEPs: Effectiveness, Efficiency and Performance Measures. The national trade-off analysis module in the FPA system enables fire budget decision-makers to assess trade-offs between investment alternatives in terms of multiple fire-related Effectiveness, Efficiency and Performance Measures (EEPs) at different proposed budget levels. (See FPA.)

EERA: Emergency Equipment Rental Agreement, the agreement for equipment not on a national contract engines, tenders, trucks, bikes (showers, caterers, helicopters have a national contract RFP or RFQ).

EFF: Emergency Fire Fighter fund for use on large fires, also kind of crew paid from those funds. Related to the duration of the emergency only.

EFp: Emission Factor: The mass of particulate matter produced per unit mass of fuel consumed (pounds per ton, grams per kg).

EFSA: Escaped Fire Situation Analysis

EGBCC: Eastern Great Basin Coordination Center (see GACC)

EIS: Environmental Impact Statement, may be needed to comply with NEPA.

ELT: Emergency Locator Transmitter: audio transmitter attached to the aircraft structure which operates from its own power source on 121.5 MHz and 243 MHz. The transmitter transmits a distinctive downward swept audio tone for homing purposes and is designed to function without human action after an accident.

EMA: Emergency Management Australia

EMAC: Emergency Management Assistance Compact (NIMS)

EMC: Moisture content that a fuel particle will attain if exposed for an infinite period in an environment of specified constant temperature and humidity. When a fuel particle reaches equilibrium moisture content, net exchange of moisture between it and its environment is zero.

EMS: Emergency Medical Service

EMSA: Emergency Medical Services Authority

EMT: Emergency Medical Technician, see also ALS and BLS. EMT-B: Basic; EMT-I: Intermediate; EMT-P: Paramedic

EKG: Electrocardiogram, a measure of cardiovascular fitness

END: Exotic Newcastle’s Disease, a virus that infects chickens.

ENF: El Dorado National Forest unit identifier.

EOC: Emergency Operations Centers, part of the ICS, also called Expanded Dispatch, Emergency Command and Control Centers, etc. EOCs are used in various ways at all levels of government and within private industry to provide coordination, direction, and control during emergencies. EOC facilities can be used to house Area Command and MACS activities as determined by agency or jurisdiction policy.

EOS: Enhanced Outreach System for hiring FS employees in R5

EPA: Environmental Protection Agency

EPRD: Emergency Preparedness and Response Directorate, directorate of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS)that oversees FEMA

ERC: Energy Release Component a term of the NFDRS; index is used by wildland fire specialists and is considered the best indicator of the effects of long-term drying on fire behavior, specifically computed as total heat release per unit area (British thermal units per square foot) within the flaming front at the head of a moving fire.

ERD: A CDF acronym, Emergency Resource Directory. CDF does not have to get position task books signed off as firefighters do in the federal redcard system. Demonstrates competency to peers and supervisors.

ERF: Reference an individual forest’s Continuity of Operations Plan, 2012 (COOP):Emergency Relocation Facility, where operations will be carried out when the home facility is not available

ESA: Endangered Species Act.

ESF: Emergency Support Function. What has to be dealt with by FEMA or some organizational leader in an disaster. Under the National Response Plan (DHS & FEMA), the Forest Service is the lead Fed agency for the Firefighting ESF. The FS also lends assistance to state and Fed partners under ICS.in contrast with ERF, Emergency Response Function at the local level.

ESRI: Environmental Systems Research Institute. A software company in southern CA that specializes in GIS (Geographic Information Systems) mapping of fires and fire-related phenomena for analysis and display.

ETA: Estimated Time of Arrival. Term used in resource planning/following to estimate time of arrival at a point.

ETD: Estimated Time of Departure: Term used in resource planning/following to estimate time of departure from a point.

ETE: Estimated Time En Route: Term used in resource planning/following to estimate time spent between points.

EXCL: Exclusive use contract, refers to aircraft that have an exclusive use contact with an agency.

Extended attack: An incident that exceeds the capability of the initial attack resources and/or organization to successfully manage the incident to conclusion.

  • F

FAA: Federal Aviation Administration

F&AM: Fire and Aviation Management of the USDA FS

FACE: Fatality Assessment and Control Evaluation Program

FAE: Fire Apparatus Engineer (Driver)

FAO: Forest Aviation Officer

FAQ: Frequently Asked Questions

FARs: Federal Aviation Regulations: Regulations governing all aviation activities of civil aircraft within the United States and its territories.

FAST: Fire and Aviation Safety Team

FAT: Sites that produce fire weather forecasts (example FRESNO-FAT) in 2012, with our level of instant information, fire managers ask for Spot Fire Forecasts.

FBAN: Fire Behavior Analyst.

FC: Fire Captain (Engine or station Foreman) CDF

FCC: Federal Communications Commission, for example FCC has specs for radios and frequencies used on fires.

FC-B: Fire Captain range B or Crew Captain (Crew Supervisor) CDF

FD: Fire department/district

FDNY: Fire Department of New York

FECA: Federal Employee Compensation Act, the current act that governs whether employees are covered for workman’s compensation and disability. As it stands, federal fire fighters must be able to pinpoint the precise incident or exposure that caused a disease in order for it to be considered job-related.

FEDS: Federal Government

FEGLI: Federal Employees Group Life Insurance

FEIS: The Fire Effects Information System. A computerized encyclopedia of information describing the fire ecology of more than 1,000 plant and animal species and plant communities.

FEM: Forestry Equipment Mechanic, one of the two CDF primary classifications for its mechanics. See Heavy Equipment Mechanic (HEM) for more info.

FEMA: Federal Emergency Management Administration

FEMO: Fire Effects Monitor

FEO: Fire Equipment Operator on an engine, also called Engineer

FEPP: Federal Excess Property Program

FERS: Federal Employees Retirement System

FEWT: Fire Equipment Working Team

FF or F/F: Firefighter

FFALC: Federal Fire and Aviation Leadership Council, wildland firefighting agencies’ leadership, comprised of the Federal wildland firefighting agency Fire Directors (Forest Service, Bureau of Land Management, National Park Service, Bureau of Indian Affairs, Fish and Wildlife Service) in cooperation with a representative from the National Association of State Foresters (NASF).

FFAST: Federal Fire and Aviation Safety Team

FFIS: Financial Foundation Information System, a way of figuring direct and indirect costs for fire using the system provided by this FFIS company

FFM: Fire and fuels management

FFPC: Fire Fighting Production Capability

FFMO: Forest Fire Management Officer

FHL: Fort Hunter Liggett

FICC: Federal Interagency Communication Center (in Southern CA)

FIO: Fire Information Officer – person who deals with the news media

FIRES: Fire Information Retrieval and Evaluation System

FIRIS: The Fire Integrated Real-time Intelligence System. A public-private partnership program that provides real-time intelligence data and analysis on emerging disaster incidents in California. Funded by the California Office of Emergency Services, the funding supports aircraft, a common operating picture, and near-real-time fire modeling by WIFIRE that is available at the onset of emerging incidents. The FIRIS program can be utilized at no cost to other agencies during the project.

FiSL: The Fire Sciences Lab. An arm of the Rocky Mountain Research Station located in Missoula, MT. Home to the Fire Behavior Project, Fire Chemistry Project, and the Fire Effects Project.

FKU: Fresno-Kings Unit of CAL FIRE.

FL: Fire Load Index, a term of the NFDRS.

FLA: Facilitated Learning Analysis, one of the tools for achieving Lessons Learned in which the intent, thought and action leading up to the incident are explored in a group debriefing and facilitated with sandtable props and strategic evocative questions; a report is optional and it may or may not provide recommendations. It’s a “portal” type of experience. Example: the FLA of the Nuttall Complex Incident.From AAR to SAI Hierarchy of Analysis/Investigation for a Learning Organization: AAR –>FLA–> APA –> SAIIn contrast with AAR and APA a more formal interview process developing a storytelling report with recommendations.

FLE: Fireline Explosives: Specially developed coils containing explosive powder that are detonated to create a fireline through ground fuels.

FLETC: Federal Law Enforcement Training Center

FLIR: Forward Looking Infrared, a hand held or aircraft mounted device designed to detect heat differentials and display the images on a video screen. Not affected by smoke. FLIRs have thermal resolution similar to IR line scanners, but their spatial resolution is substantially less; commonly used to detect hot spots and flareups obscured by smoke, evaluate the effectiveness of firing operations, or detect areas needing mop up.

FLHB: Fire Line Hand Book put out by NWCG.

FLPMA: Federal Land Policy Management Act

FLRA: Federal Labor Relations Authority

FLSA: Fair Labor Standards Act

FM: As in AM and FM, types of radio broadcasts

FMAG: Fire Management Assistance Grant: The FMAG program’s is designed to help state and/or local jurisdictions impacted by high cost, high damage wildland fires. It allows local and state govts a means to aggressively attack and suppress fires with the assurance they will not drain their local budgets protecting life and property.

FMO: Fire Management Officer, may be referred to as District or Forest.

FMP: Fire Management Plan; similarly at the national level, the Federal Wildland Fire Management Plan or FWFMPA plan which identifies and integrates all wildland fire management and related activities within the context of approved land/resource management plans. It defines a program to manage wildland fires (wildfire, prescribed fire, and wildland fire use). The plan is supplemented by operational plans, including but not limited to preparedness plans, preplanned dispatch plans, and prevention plans. Fire Management Plans assure that wildland fire management goals and components are coordinated.

FMT: Forest Management Team

FMU: Fire Management Unit: land management area definable by objectives, management constraints, topographic features, access, values to be protected, political boundaries, fuel types, major fire regime groups, etc. that set it apart from the characteristics of an adjacent FMU. The FMU may have dominant management objectives and pre-selected strategies assigned to accomplish these objectives.

FOFE: First Order Fire Effects: The effects that concern the direct or immediate consequences of fire, such as biomass consumption, crown scorch, bole damage, and smoke production. First order effects form an important basis for predicting secondary effects such as tree regeneration, plant succession, and changes in site productivity, but these involve interaction with many other non-fire variables. Check SOFE.

FOG: Field Operation Guide (NIMS)

FOIA: Freedom of Information Act

FOSC: Federal On Scene Coordinator, as for an emergency like a hurricane or a fire.

FOTM: Informal acronym, refers to Fire on the Mountain, a 1994 book by John MacLean about those who died on Storm King Mountain in Colorado

FNG: F-ing New Guy, military term

FPA: Fire Program Analysis, the new system that replaces NFMAS, which was expensive and based on a tactical model of past fires dictating need. FPA is based on a strategic model which is not related to real fire need. They’re looking to cut costs regardless of real need. FPA is like a train going down the track, throttle open with track un-laid half a mile ahead.Tom Harbour told the R5 BOD in 2005 when the cost was about 3 or 4 million dollars: “We know it isn’t working and it isn’t likely to, but we have to look like we’re trying.” Update, 2007: Still a Wannabe planning tool: Program has had lots of glitches and, at the cost of 17 million, is still side-lined in 2007. Additionally, may refer to a Fire Protection Agency, as in National Fire Protection Agency, possibly comprised of FS, BLM, NPS, FWS, and BIA.

FPD: Fire Protection District

FPU: Fire Planning Unit, the unit of organization on which FPA is based, also called a GIS Cooperative; no longer includes only the Forest and its fire resources, but also includes adjoining National Parks, BLM and BIA land with their resources. A Fire Planning Unit consists of one or more Fire Management Units. FPUs may relate to a single administrative unit, a sub-unit, or any combination of units or sub-units. FPUs are scalable and may be contiguous or non-contiguous. FPUs are not predefined by agency administrative unit boundaries, and may relate to one or more agencies. They may be described spatially.

FR: Fire Resistant as in PPE

FRA: Federal Responsibility Area; the primary financial responsibility for protecting and suppressing fires is that of the fed govt. These lands are generally protected by the DOA: FS, the DOI: BLM, NPS, FWS, and BIAAlso, Friction Reducing Agent: Water soluble substance that reduces frictional drag of solutions and dampens turbulent flow while being pumped through pipe or hose.

FRAP: CAL FIREs Fire Resource Assessment Program

FRS: Family Radio Service, a kind of walkie-talkie often used by hikers.

FS: United States Forest Service, “green engines”. Also used to mean Forest Supervisor, a line officer.

FSH: Forest Service Handbooks

FSR: Forest Service Regular (FSR) Type 2 crews are Forest resources but are considered part of the national mobility concept.

FSS: Federal Supply Schedule or Flight Service Station

FSM: Forest Service Manuals

FTE: Full Time Equivalents

FTRs: Fire Time Report- an individual’s record of daily work

FUBAR: Fouled Up (or F’ed Up), Beyond All Recognition, the stage worse than SNAFU; coined during WWII and used liberally by the troops (even clean-mouthed troops) as “Fouled Up Beyond All Recognition”. In and of itself, not a vulgar profanity.

FUM: Fire Use Modules, formerly called Prescribed Fire Modules

FUMT: Fire Use Management Team, called in to manage a fire that benefits the environment by burning at low levels.

FUTA: (Southwest) Fire Use Training Academy.

FUWT: Fire Use Working Team under guidance from the National Interagency Fuels Coordination Group (NIFCG)

FVSC: Fire Vehicle Standardization Committee

FWFMP: Federal Wildland Fire Management Plan

FWFSA: Federal Wildland Fire Service Association, led Casey Judd.

FWI: Fire Weather Index: A numerical rating in the Canadian fire danger rating system, based on meteorological measurements of fire intensity in a standard fuel type. (The standard fuel type is representative of jack pine and lodgepole pine.) The FWI is comprised of three fuel moisture codes, covering classes of forest fuel of different drying rates, and two indices that represent rate of spread and the amount of available fuel.

FWIS: Forestry Weather Information System: real time system which takes observations and forecasts supplied by NWS in coded numeric form, reformats that input by computer based algorithms, and distributes the reformatted information as numeric and worded diagnoses and forecasts for specialized users in localized areas.

FWS: Fish and Wildlife Service

FWW: Fire Weather Watch

FY: Fiscal Year

FYI: For Your Information

  • G

GA: General Administrator

GACC: Geographic Area Coordination Center

GAO: Government Accounting Office

GAP: Wildland Fire Skills Gap Courses for Structural Firefighters

GFMC: Global Fire Monitoring Center

GFS: Global Forecast System. With ECMWF, one of the two major Weather Prediction Models.

GHCC: Global Hydrology and Climate Center

GIF: Graphics Interchange Format. An image file format. Similar to JPEG/JPG.

GIS: Geographic Information System: Through the process of geocoding, geographic data from a database is converted into images in the form of maps; this info presentation is especially helpful on fires for planning and to keep firefighters from harm. For example a Geographic Information System Specialist (GISS) supports incident management and can be assigned to an ICS organization’s Situation Unit.

GISS: Geographic Information System Specialist

GJD: Grand Junction Dispatch, fire managers in Grand Junction CO who demonstrated errors in judgment related to the South Canyon deaths in 1994.

GNP: Gross National Product

GOES: Geostationary Operational Environmental Satellite: Satellite used for data relay from NFDRS weather stations to ASCADS.

GORP: Good Old Raisins & Peanuts

GPH: A newer version of the King radios the feds seem to use nationally. GPH is the beginning of the model number. (LPH is the other.) May also refer to Gallons Per Hour.

GPM: Gallons Per Minute

GPS: Global Positioning System. A network of navigational satellites operated by the U.S. Department of Defense and available for civilian use. The system can track objects anywhere in the world with an accuracy of approximately 40 feet.

GPSP: Global Positioning System Technical Specialist

GSA: General Services Administration. Oversees contracting and production of the redesigned fire shelters, among other things purchased for the fire cache and on national forests around the country. Also Global Satellite Array

GS#: General Services occupational classification and ranking for salary with higher numbers reflecting greater salary

GS: Ground Support

GTR: General Technical Report or Government Transportation Request

GTS: Gum Thickened Sulphate: A dry chemical product which is mixed with water to form a fire retardant slurry.

GVW: Gross Vehicle Weight: Actual vehicle weight, including chassis, body, cab, equipment, water, fuel, crew, and all other load. …as in GVW of crew buggies that determines the kind of driver’s license required.

GVWR: Gross Vehicle Weight Rating: The value specified by the manufacturer as the maximum allowable weight of a vehicle fully equipped, including payload, fluids and occupants

  • H

HA: Hazard Analysis, see also JHA = Job Hazard Analysis

HAZMAT: Hazardous Material

HCM: Human Capital Management(pdf download)

HECM: Helicopter crewmember

HEM: Heavy Equipment Mechanic. CDF has two primary classifications for its mechanics: Heavy Equipment Mechanic (HEM) and the supervisor position of Forestry Equipment Mechanic (FEM). Both positions are hired off an open list which the public can test for every few years. The department is required to supply a minimum level of fire training for these positions. Monitor the California State Personnel Board website for testing dates.

HFACS: James Reason’s Human Factors Analysis Classification System aka the Swiss Cheese Model

HF/QLA: Herger Feinstein/Quincy Library Group

HIGE: Hovering in Ground Effect: The situation in which a helicopter is hovering sufficiently close to the ground to achieve added lift due to the effects of “ground cushion.” The HIGE ceiling, for a given gross weight, thus is greater than the HOGE (Hovering Out of Ground Effect) ceiling.

HOGE: Hovering Out of Ground Effect

HP: Hazard Pay, 25% over base pay. Can only be obtained on an uncontrolled fire.

HR/O: Human Resources/ Officer. FS HR shop was stovepiped in 2005 with much work left behind on the forests leading to “burden shift”. Still have to pay cost pools on it.

HRO: High Reliability Organization, one that employs Lessons Learned to become safer: Thanks to one of the original thinkers on this, Herb Simon, one of the first to look upon organizations as arenas in which complex organizational processes occur… There are 5 characteristics of High Reliability Organizations that have been identified (Karl Weick and Kathleen M. Sutcliffe) as responsible for the “mindfulness” that keeps them working well when facing unexpected situations are: Preoccupation with failure, Reluctance to simplify interpretations, Sensitivity to operations, Commitment to resilience & Deference to expertise

HS: Hotshot

HSPD-5: Homeland Security Presidential Directive-5 (NIMS)

HSQ: Health Screening Questionnaire; must be filled out prior to taking the WCT (Work Capacity Test or Pack Test)

HT: handie-talkie, kind of radio. The standard handheld radio.

HTT: Hope that helps

HUU: Humboldt-Del Norte Unit of CAL FIRE.

  • I

I###: Incident Command System courses

IA: Initial Attack: A planned response to a wildfire given the wildfire’s potential fire behavior. The objective of initial attack is to stop the fire and put it out in a manner consistent with firefighter and public safety and values to be protected.

IA: Initial attack fire: Fire that is generally contained by the attack units first dispatched, without a significant augmentation of reinforcements, within two hours after initial attack, and full control is expected within the first burning period. In contrast to an extended attack fire.

IADP: Initial Attack Dispatcher

IAFF: International Association of Fire Fighters

IAIC: Initial attack Incident Commander: The incident commander at the time the first attack forces commence suppression work on a fire.

IAMS: Integrated Aviation Management System. A ‘system of systems’ approach to aviation safety, quality, risk and business management.

IAP: Incident Action Plan. Contains objectives reflecting the overall incident strategy and specific tactical actions and supporting info for the next operational period. May be oral or written.

IARR: Interagency Resources Representative, people who track crews on an incident for a GACC; An individual who may be assigned to or requested by an incident to serve as the sending unit’s representative to oversee the care and treatment of crews, overhead, and equipment assigned to an incident.

IAS: Indicated Airspeed

IASC: Interagency Air and Smoke Council

IAT: Interagency Aviation Training

IAWF: The International Association of Wildland Fire, a non-profit, professional association representing members of the global wildland fire community.

IBA: Incident Business Advisor

IBPWT: Incident Business Practices Working Team, of the NWCG

IC: Incident Command or Incident Commander (ICT#, with the numbers 1 through 5 being the Types; For example, a Type 1 team is a national level team, Type 2 team is a regional team, etc.); also Ignition Component a term of the NFDRS. Inland County Emergency Services Agency (ICEMA)

ICEMA: Inland County Emergency Services Agency (in Southern CA)

ICP: Incident Command Post, part of the ICS, the Incident Commander (IC) is located at an Incident Command Post (ICP) at the incident scene. Defined as the combination of facilities, equipment, personnel, procedure and communications operating within a common organizational structure.

ICS: Incident Command System, an on-scene structure of management-level positions suitable for managing any incident. “A standardized on-scene emergency management concept specifically designed to allow its users to adopt an integrated organizational structure equal to the complexity and demands of single or multiple incidents, without being hindered by jurisdictional boundaries.”

ICSU: Incident Communications Support Training

ICT: Incident Command Team, also called Incident Management Team (IMT)

ID: Inside Diameter, a dimension as of a wheel or a pipe, etc; Also ”Interim Directive” is a draft revision of some part of the FS Manual rules or policies for line officers and FS administrators. It indicates they’re working on a change in policy. Once the policy is finalized, the “Directive” is added to the FS manual. It is placed in front of the appropriate chapter to make explicit the change in policy.

IEP: Incident Emergency Plan

IFFWU: Interagency Fire Forecaster Weather Units

IFPM: Interagency Fire Program Management has a wildland fire and safety qualifications standards and guide for 14 identified fire management positions.

IFRC: Instrument Flight Rule applies to Conditions / Capabilities Weather conditions below the minimum for flight under Visual Flight Rules and therefore requiring the observance of instruments inside the aircraft for controlling flight; generally considered to be less than 1000′ AGL and 3 miles distant. Contrast VFRC (Visual Flight Rules Conditions).

IFSTA: International Fire Service Training Association

IHC: Interagency Hotshot Crew

IHOG: Interagency Helicopter Operations Guide

IHFA: International Helicopter Firefighter’s Association

IIAA: Interagency Initial Attack Assessment (IIAA) model. See Developing an Interagency, Landscape-scale Fire Planning Analysis and Budget Tool

IIBMH: Interagency Incident Business Management Handbook.

IIMT: Interagency Incident Management Team. Type I and Type II teams from around the United States that are called in to manage large fires and other kinds of natural and man-made disasters.

ILS: Instrument Landing System. System for airplane landing in which the pilot is guided by radio beams.

IMC: Instrument Meteorological Conditions when flying

IMET: Incident Meteorologist

IMI: Interactive Multimedia Instruction. Group of predominantly interactive, electronically delivered training.

IMO: “In my opinion”

IMHO: “In my humble opinion”, indicates that the writer is aware that they are expressing a debatable view, probably on a subject already under discussion.

IMSP: Interagency Medical Standards Program

IMSR: (National) Incident Management Situation Report

IMRB: Interagency Medical Review Board, using the Way Back Machine

IMT: Incident Management Team; the Incident Commander and appropriate general and command staff personnel assigned to an incident. Also known as Incident Command Team (ICT).

IMWTK: Inquiring Minds Want To Know

INF: Inyo National Forest unit identifier.

InciWeb: InciWeb is an interagency all-risk incident information management system developed to provide the public a single source of incident related information and provide a standardized reporting tool for the Public Affairs community

IOSWT: Incident Operation Standards Working Team of the NWCG

IPT: Iron Pipe Thread: tapered thread standard that is used for connecting various sizes of rigid pipe. This standard may be referred to as tapered iron pipe thread (TIPT), National pipe thread (NPT), iron pipe thread (IPT), or iron pipe standard thread (IPS). With tapered thread, the threads and pipe sealant perform the seal at the connection. This is opposed to straight thread connectors which use a gasket to form the seal.

IQCS: Incident Qualification and Certification System, NWCG, computerized; replacing the redcard…

IR: Infrared. A heat detection system used for fire protection, mapping, and hotspot identificationInter-Regional

IRM: Information Resource Management, also sometimes called ISM or Information Systems Management. This was the section of the Forest Service that included the Computer Specialists and Communications Technicians on the forests and on Incident Management Teams before they were centralized. They no longer serve on incident management teams as regular team members.

IRPG: Incident Response Pocket Guide

ISDR: UN International Strategy for Disaster Reduction (See GFMC and the Links Page under World Wide.)

IT: Information Technology; FS IT shop was stovepiped in 2005.

ISP: Internet Service Provider

IWI: Incident Within an Incident. A fireground emergency such as an injury or vehicle crash that occurs during response operations.

I-Zone: Interface zone (same as Wildland Urban Interface)

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  • J

J###: Job Aids related courses

JAC: Joint Apprenticeship Committee

JFS: Joint Fire Sciences Program. A six agency partnership between the USDA’s Forest Service and the Department of the Interior’s BIA, BLM, NPS, FWS and USGS to address wildland fuels issues. The six agencies are designated by the Congress.

JK: Just Kidding

JHA: Job Hazard Analysis. This is the doc that was recommended in 2005 by Ann Baker who was Safety Officer for the FS Northern Region.

JIC: Joint Information Center; an interagency information center responsible for researching, coordinating and disseminating information to the public and media. Formed through the MAST effort; for example, San Bernardino Fire Information Center of Southern CA

JIS: Joint Information System: System that integrates incident information and public affairs into a cohesive organization designed to provide consistent, coordinated, timely information during crisis or incident operations.

JPEG, JPG: A method of storing an image in a compressed digital format specified by the Joint Photographic Experts Group

  • K

KBDI: Keetch-Byram Drought Index with a range from 0 (no moisture deficiency or complete saturation) to 800 (maximum drought)

KISS: Keep It Simple Stupid.

KNF: Klamath National Forest unit identifier.

KNP: Sequoia & Kings Canyon National Park unit identifier.

KSAs: Knowledge, Skills, Abilities. (Sometimes KASOCs.)

KV: Kneutson Vandenberg Act led to funds that were legacy funds for the FS

  • L

L: Laughing

LAC: Los Angeles County Fire Department unit identifier.

LAL: Lightning Activity Level, a numerical rating from the lowest of 1 to the highest of 6, keyed to the start of thunderstorms and the frequency and character of cloud-to-ground lightning forecasted or observed on a rating area during a rating period, a term of the NFDRS. The scale is exponential based on powers of 2 (i.e., LAL 3 indicates twice the lightning of LAL 2).

LAMO: Laughing My A** Off

LANL: Los Alamos National Lab site of the Cerro Grande Fire of 2000

LAT: Large Air Tanker

LC: Liquid Concentrate: Liquid phosphate fertilizers used as fire retardants, usually diluted three to five times prior to application.

LCES: Lookouts, Communication, Escape routes, Safety zones. Arose out of a need for firefighters to be able to quickly recall a fewer number of watchouts than the original 18 Watch Out Situations and 10 Standard Firefighting Orders.

LCEES: Lookouts, Communication, Escape routes, Evacuation mitigations, Safety zones. From the AAR on the Emergency Evacuation Lessons Learned relating to Dutch Creek Mitigation Measures.

LE: Law Enforcement

Lead: Lead Plane Light twin-engine airplane that guides air tankers over a fire.

LEO: Law Enforcement Officer (as in FS LEO)

LFO: Large Fire Organization, preceded ICS

LLC: Wildland Fire Lessons Learned Center, part of NAFRI. “The LLC promotes a learning culture to enhance and sustain safe and effective work practices in the wildland fire community.” Great place to study the near misses and accidents to increase safety awareness.

LODD: Line of Duty Death

LOF: Line Officers’ Team – FS

LMA: Land Management Agencies (FS, BLM, NPS, FWS, etc)

LMU: Lassen-Modoc Unit of CAL FIRE

LNF: Lassen National Forest unit identifier

LNO: Liaison Officer (NIMS)

LNP: Lassen Volcanic National Park unit identifier.

LNU: Sonoma-Lake Napa Unit of CAL FIRE.

LOL: Laughing Out Loud

LP: Los Padres, as in National Forest, Liquid Propane gas, or Lead Plane, depending on context.

LPF: Los Padres National Forest unit identifier

LPH: An older version of the handheld Kings radio than the GPH; it’s just the beginning of a model number on the radios.

LR: Lightning Risk

LRA: Local Responsibility Area. These lands are private lands outside of watershed areas designated by the state, or lands incorporated into cities.

L/RMP: Land/Resource Management Plan

LSR: Late Successional Reserve, for information:LSR

LWOP: Leave WithOut Pay

LZ: Landing Zone

  • M

MAC: Multi-Agency Coordination; often from a Coordinating Center, part of the ICS. An activity or a formal system used to coordinate resources and support between agencies or jurisdictions. A MAC Group functions within the MACS, which interact with agencies or jurisdictions, not with incidents. MACS are useful for regional situations. A MACS can be established at a jurisdictional EOC or at a separate facility.

MACS: Multi-Agency Coordination System. A combination of facilities, equipment, personnel, procedures, and communications integrated into a common system with responsibility for coordination of assisting agency resources and support to agency emergency operations

MAFFS: Modular Airborne Fire Fighting System. A self-contained reusable 3000-gallon aerial fluid dispersal system that allows Lockheed C-130 cargo/utility aircraft to be converted to wildland firefighting air tankers. MAFFS use is a joint program with the Air National Guard, Air Force Reserve, and the U.S. Forest Service.

MAST: Mountain Area Safety Taskforce (in SoCal)

MATS: Multi-Agency Training Schedule

MB-10: March Air Force Base Brush 10 Fire Engine

MCAD: Military Crew Advisor oversees the military crew of firefighters.

MCB: Marine Corps Base

MDF: Modoc National Forest unit identifier.

MEA: Maximum Entry Age for firefighters is 37 so firefighters can accrue their 20 years and retire with benefits at age 57.

MEDC: Historical – Missoula Equipment Development Center, US Forest Service. Now called the MTDC Missoula Technical and Development Center.

MEL: Most Efficient Level (of funding) for Fire and the Forest Service: The fire management program budget level that results in the minimum cost plus net value change.

MEU: Mendocino Unit of CAL FIRE.

MEV: Aviation abbreviation for Minden Air Field, Minden NV.

MHRD: Mount Hough Ranger District, a complex of fires on the Plumas NF, mentioned 10/11/99; Giachino’s Northern CA Team was on it 8/24 – 9/13; Frye’s Northern Rockies Team was on it 9/9 – 9/22.

MI: Misery Index: [(% Slope) + (% RH) + (Temperature) + (RMP) + (C)] / 3.25 Where variables are defined as: % Slope = 1-100% RH = 1-100 Temperature = Degrees Fahrenheit RMP = Relative Misery of Project, subjectively assessed, 1-5C = Correction from special charts (0.0 in most cases) For all temperatures above 0.0 degrees Fahrenheit, the MI produces a numerical rating on a scale of 1-100. MI’s above 50 are considered significant, 72-78 are considered severe, 78-90 are considered extreme, and 90+ are considered intolerable. An indicator of firefighter morale and thus firefighter safety.

MILF: Mother I’d Like to ___ An acronym from the movie American Pie. This was one example of a poor name for a fire and would have been especially disastrous if the fire had gotten to be a big one with media coverage. Small as it was, the name was changed and that was no easy task.

MIRG: Multiple Incident Response Guide

MIRPS: A computer program for tracking resources from dispatch to demob on large and small incidents. The long-term plan is to replace it with ROSS.

MIST: Minimum Impact Suppression Tactics, firefighting tactics used in a wilderness area

MKU: Mobile Kitchen Unit

MMA: Maximum Management Area; MMA refers to a fire with confine/contain strategy as opposed to just trying to put it out. The MMA fires will be allowed to move around within the MMA and may change to a full suppression strategy depending on what becomes threatened. Sometimes these fires do a lot of good while skunking around.Also the Master Mutual Aid Agreement.

MMU: Madera-Mariposa-Merced Unit of CAL FIRE.

MNF: Mendocino National Forest unit identifier.

MOA: Military Operations Area

MOA: Memorandum of Agreement, agreements the federal government makes with other autonomous entities, such as Tribes

MODIS: Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer. A key instrument aboard the Terra and Aqua satellites. This instrument provides important intelligence for fire managers regarding fire perimeters and fire growth throughout large fires or fire sieges.

MOU: Memorandum of Understanding

MRA: Mutual Response Area

MRB Mobile Retardant Base

MREs: Prepackaged military Meal Ready to Eat.

MSL: Mean Sea Level or with numbers, above MSL

MTDC: Missoula Technical and Development Center (USFS)

MTR: Military Training Route

MTZ: Mutual Threat Zone; a geographical area between two or more jurisdictions into which those agencies would respond on initial attack. Also called mutual response zone or initial action zone.

Mud: Slang for fire retardant

MVU: Monte Vista Ranger Unit (San Diego Unit) of CAL FIRE, near San Diego, borders Mexico.

  • N

NAAQS: National Ambient Air Quality Standards: A legal limit on the level of atmospheric contamination. The level is established as the concentration limits needed to protect all of the public against adverse effects on public health and welfare, with an adequate safety margin.

NAFA: National Aerial Firefighting Academy

NAFRI: National Advanced Fire & Resource InstituteA national level center for strategic planning, development, and implementation of fire, fuels, resource, and incident management skills and educational processes. Formerly NARTC

NAFTA: North American Free Trade Agreement

NARTC: National Advanced Resources Technology Center, a multi-agency training center at Pinal Air Park at Marana AZ (Pronounced Nart-see.) Specializes in presentation of national-level fire management training courses.

NASA: National Aeronautics and Space Administration

NASF: National Association of State Foresters (www.stateforesters.org) An organization comprised of the State Forester from each state and territory which promotes cooperation in forestry matters between the states and territories, the federal government and private forestry groups. It promotes legislation, programs and activities which will advance the practice of forestry and use of forest products.

NASMPP: National Aviation and Safety Mishap Prevention Plan

NC: National Coordinators

NCIC: National Crime Information Center

NDT: Non Destructive Testing of aircraft, especially aging aircraft detects cracks or any other irregularities in the airframe, structure, landing gear, and engine components which are not visible to the naked eye.

NDVI: A satellite observation-derived value that is sensitive to vegetative growth, (measured at 1.1 km (0.6 mile) spatial and 1 week temporal scales).

NEPA: National Environmental Policy Act of 1969.

NESDIS: National Environmental Satellite, Data and Information Service: A National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Agency.

NEU: Nevada-Yuba-Placer Unit of CAL FIRE.

NF: National Forest

NFA: National Fire Academy

NFC: National Fire Codes: The collected technical fire protection standards prepared by various committees of the National Fire Protection Association and published every year in 15 volumes.

NFDRS: National Fire Danger Rating System, a uniform but multiple index fire danger rating system that focuses on the environmental factors that control the moisture content of fuels.

NFES: National Fire Equipment Systems. Overseen by a subcommittee of the Fire Equipment Working Team that provides for fire equipment distribution in caches around the US. For example, there are 2 caches of equipment in CA, in Redding (Anderson) and Ontario.

NFFE: National Federation of Federal Employees (AFL-CIO), union for Forest Service Employees, including wildland firefighters.

NFIRS: National Fire Information Reporting System

NFMAS: National Fire Management Analysis System, the system whereby MEL is calculated.

NFP: National Fire Plan

NFPA: National Fire Protection Association: A private, non-profit organization dedicated to reducing fire hazards and improving fire service; sets safety standards for protective clothing (PPE) and equipment for wildland firefighting. . The most recent version is NFPA Specification #1977, the 1998 Edition.Also an abbreviation for National Fire Protection Agency, a hypothetical wildland firefighting agency possibly comprised of FS, BLM, NPS, FWS, and BIA. Not yet established.

NFPM: National Fire Plan Model

NGO: Non-Governmental Organization:

NH: National Standard Thread (National Hose); a defined screw thread used on fire hose couplings.

NHPA: National Historic Preservation Act; what keeps some engine bays or fire-related structures from being upgraded or sold to reduce operating costs.

NHTSA: National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, Dept of Transportation. Has issued guidelines regarding 15-passenger vans.

NICC: National Interagency Coordination Center, Boise, Idaho: Coordinates allocation of resources to one or more coordination centers or major fires within the nation.

NIFC: National Interagency Fire Center, Boise, Idaho (www.nifc.gov) is jointly operated by several federal agencies. Dedicated to coordination, logistical support, and improved weather services in support of fire management operations throughout the United States.

NIFCG: National Interagency Fuels Coordination Group

NIFMD: National Interagency Fire Management Integrated Database: The archive of daily weather observations from WIMS.

NIIMS: National Interagency Incident Management System developed by NWCG developed program consisting of five subsystems which collectively provide a total systems approach to all-risk incident management. The subsystems are: The Incident Command System, Training, Qualifications and Certification, Supporting Technologies, and Publications Management.NIIMS

NIJAC: National Interagency Joint Apprenticeship Program for Wildland Fire is designed to provide standardized and consistent training in a cost effective manner, provide agencies an opportunity to recruit, hire and develop new employees quickly, provide apprentices wages commensurate with their skills.

NIMO: National Incident Management Organization

NIMS: National Incident Management System. administered by FEMA which also has oversight for federal coordination of disaster response/recovery resources in the US, and is also responsible for administering most of the new National Response Plan.

NIOSH: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health

NIRSC: National Interagency Radio Supply Cache

NJFFS: The NJ Forest Fire Service under the auspices of the New Jersey Dept. of Environmental Protection.

NLDN: National Lightning Detection Network, a lightning detection computer system.

NLT: National Leadership Team. The highest management team in the Forest Service. It is made up of the Chief of the Forest Service, the Deputy Chiefs and the Regional Foresters.

NMAC: National MAC or Big MAC; Multiple Agency Coordinating, see MAC above.

NO: Nitrogen Oxide: product of combustion from transportation and stationary sources and a major contributor to acid deposition and the formation of ground level ozone in the troposphere.

NO2: Nitrogen Dioxide: result of nitric oxide combining with oxygen in the atmosphere. A major component of photochemical smog.

NOAA: National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration

NOPS/North OPS: North Ops, the Coordination Center for Northern CA (see GACC)

NOTAM: Notice to Airmen: contains info concerning the establishment, condition, or change in any component of, or hazard in, the National Airspace System, info essential to personnel concerned with flight operations.

NP: National Park

NPF: National Professional Firefighters it is the membership setting for FWFSA members who do not have a state association to be affiliated with.

NPR: National Public Radio

NPS: National Park Service

NPSH orNPSM: National Pipe Straight Hose Thread (NPSH) or National Pipe Straight Mechanical (NPSM) thread: a straight (non-tapered) thread standard with the same threads per inch as the appropriate size iron pipe thread. It requires a gasket to seal and is the thread standard used by most U.S. industry.

NR: Natural Resources. Also, National Registry as in National Registry of EMTs (NREMT)

NRA: National Recreation Area, for example GGNRA, Golden Gate National Recreation Area

NRL: National Resource Lands: Public lands administered by the Bureau of Land Management, DOI

NREMT: National Registry of Emergency Medical Technicians

NRP: National Response Plan. FEMA (now the Emergency Preparedness and Response Directorate) was directed in the Homeland Security Act to compile all of the response plans at the federal level into one national response plan.

NRCC: Northern Rockies Coordination Center (see GACC)

NSRFFT: Navajo Scouts Reserve Fire Fighting Team

NSW RFSNSW FB: New South Wales Fire Brigade, Rural Fire Service of Australia.

NTE: Not to Exceed with respect to employment

NTSB: National Transportation Safety Board investigates airtanker and helicopter accidents

NVC: Net Value Change

NVG: Night Vision Goggles

NWCC: Northwestern Coordination Center (see GACC)

NWCG: National Wildfire Coordinating Group, provides standards for a consistent and defined behavior, action, process, or equipment type, ranging from prescribed burns, fire classes, and training at NWCG with info on Red Card quals. NWCG is a group formed under the direction of the Secretaries of the Interior and Agriculture to improve the coordination and effectiveness of wildland fire activities and provide a forum to discuss, recommend appropriate action, or resolve issues and problems of substantive nature.

NWFCC: National Wildland Fire Engine Committee

NWS: National Weather Service located in Boise ID. See the Links page.

NWSA: National Wildfire Suppression Association, a national association of independent wildfire suppression contractors.

NWSFO: National Weather Service Forecast Office

NZ/SZ: North Zone/South Zone (Operational Areas of California)

  • O

OAS: Office of Aircraft Services

OC: Organized Crew, the emergency hire crew programs. Also On Call or Orange County.

OCC: Operations Coordination Center: Primary facility of the Multi-agency Coordination System (MACS); houses staff and equipment necessary to perform the MACS function.

OCFA: Orange County Fire Authority

OCR: Open and continuous recruitment in fire hiring

OD: “Old dog”

OD: Outside Diameter: External diameter of a cylinder or tube, conductor, or coupling as distinguished from the internal diameter.

ODF: Oregon Department of Forestry.

ODP: Office of Domestic Preparedness, part of the DHS (Dept of Homeland Security).

OEP: Reference an individual forest’s Continuity of Operations Plan, 2012 (COOP):Occupant Emergency Plan, a plan for evacuating a facility during an emergency

OES: Office of Emergency Services, formerly CAL EMA

OF162: OF 162 form for employment in fire

OF510: OF 510 form for employment in fire

OF612: OF 612 form for employment in fire

OFCA: Oregon Fire Contractors Association

OGC: Office of General Council

OH: Overhead

OHV: Off highway vehicle.

OIG: Office of Inspector General

OJT: On the job training for red card positions. 11/22/99

OMB: OMB provides oversight and offers suggestions on the budget for the executive branch agencies.

OMG: Oh My Gawd

OPM: Office of Personnel Management, jobs with the feds

OPS: Operations, North and South OPS, refer to Northern/Southern Geographic Operational Areas in California

ORV: Off Road Vehicle: Any motorized vehicle designed for or capable of cross-country travel on or immediately over land, water, sand, snow, ice, marsh, swampland, or other terrain. All-Terrain Vehicle

OSC: Operations Section Chief: the ICS position responsible for supervising the Operations Section. Reports to the Incident Commander. The OSC directs the preparation of unit operational plans, requests and releases resources, makes expedient changes to the Incident Action Plan as necessary and reports such to the IC. Also Office of Special Counsel.

OSD: Operational System Description

OSHA: Occupational Safety and Health Administration(federal), set standards for safety equipment

OSL: Operating Service Life, the estimated life of the structure of an airtanker based on original structural engineering and missions flown. This is hard to determine in planes whose designers maintain proprietary secrecy regarding structure and in planes that flew secret missions during WWII before being transferred to firefighting service. Not having an estimate of the OSL has kept many airtankers grounded.

OT: Overtime

OWCP: The Office of Workers’ Compensation Programs of the Department of Labor, provides process and determines validity of work related claims of accident/injury. Some info from theNational Association of Letter Carriers.

  • P

P to P/P2P: Portal to Portal

PA: Pain in the A…, a type of “bad” employee who may not advance in their career. See posts on 11/01/00.

PA: Personnel Accountability.The ability to account for the location and status of personnel. See PAR.

PAHs: Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons

PAL: Project Activity Level

PAO: Public Affairs Officer

PAR: Personnel Accountability Reports. Periodic reports verifying the status of responders assigned to an incident. Also Precision Approach Radar, a blind landing in which the aircraft is observed from the ground by means of radar and directed along a suitable glide path by instructions radioed to the pilot.

PAX: Passengers

PCF: A Paid Call Firefighter

PCMS: Purchase Card Management System. A federal method of paying bills.

PD: Position Description, each job position has one describing the duties and responsibilities.

PDT: Pacific Daylight Time

PERS: Public Employees Retirement System. Retirement system that California State Employees Association (CSEA) members belong to.

PFA: Preliminary Fuels Analysis

PFIRS: Prescribed Fire Info Reporting System

PFT: Permanent Full Time, as in an employees work status (26/0); see also WAE (18/8 and 13/13).

PFTC: National Interagency Prescribed Fire Training Center

PIBAL: Pilot Balloon Operation: A method of determining winds aloft by periodically reading the elevation and azimuth angles of a theodolite, usually at one-minute intervals, while tracking the ascent of a small free-lift balloon. A PIBAL is commonly used for constructing a wind profile.

PIO: Public Information Officer (same as FIO, Fire Info Officer)

PNF: Plumas National Forest unit identifier.

PNWCG: Pacific Northwest Coordinating Group

PL: Program Leadership or Preparedness Level. Also Private Line, in reference to subaudible tones used in radio programming.

PLI: Professional Liability Insurance: eg.FEDS

PLA: Program Leadership Attrition — a kind of federal funding for fire that will allow the hiring of 500 people (for each of 3 years 2001-2003).

PMS: Public Management System; a system used by NWCG for some of their publications

POI: Probability of Ignition

POS: Piece of $h*t…

POSH: Prevention of Sexual Harassment

POV: Privately Owned Vehicle, as opposed to GOV, government owned vehicle.

PLI: Personal liability insurance.

PPE: Personal Protective Equipment to mitigate hazardous firefighting conditions, including nomex pants and shirt, hardhat, flight helmets, shroud, goggles, gloves, loves, respirators, hearing protection, chainsaw chaps, boots, and fire shelter.

PPT: Permanent Part Time

PR: Public relations

PRA: Public Records Act. The state equivalent of the Freedom of Information Act.

PRC: Public Resources Code (of the State of California)

PSD: Plastic Sphere Dispenser as for aerial ignitions. Also, Prevention of Significant Deterioration: a program identified by the Clean Air Act to prevent air quality and visibility degradation and to remedy existing visibility problems. Areas of the country are grouped into 3 classes which are allowed certain degrees of pollution depending on their uses. National Parks and Wilderness Areas meeting certain criteria are “Class I” or “clean area” in that they have the smallest allowable increment of degradation.

PSE: Permanent Seasonal Employee (eg, 13/13) For comparison see WAE and PFT. Check theysaid 4/5/09 for info on employees going from PSE to PFT.

PSI: Pounds per square inch, a measure of pressure

PSOB: Public Safety Officer Benefits, the benefits denied to airtanker pilots and their families if they die in the line of duty.

PSW: Pacific Southwest Research and Experiment Station

PT: Physical training

PTBs: Position Task Books, they contain all critical tasks which are required to perform the job. Successful completion of the tasks during OJT is the basis for recommending redcard certification for that job; it’s a document listing the performance requirements (competencies and behaviors) for a position in a format that allows for the evaluation of individual (trainee) performance to determine if an individual is qualified in the position. Successful performance of PTB tasks, as observed and recorded by a qualified evaluator, will result in a recommendation to the trainee’s home unit that the individual be certified in the position.

PTS: Post Traumatic Stress, a syndrome that results from a stressful event or a repeated stressful situation. Symptoms include flashbacks, dwelling on the event, sleeplessness, being prone to crying.

PTT: Push-to-talk. The button used to transmit on a radio.

PVO: Private Voluntary Organization (NIMS)

PWP: Project Work Plans

PWAC: Person Without A Clue

Pyrocumulus: A dense cumuliform cloud produced by the intense heating of the air from the surface due to a wildfire.

Pyrocumulonimbus: a fire-aided or –caused convective cloud, like a pyrocumulus, but with considerable vertical development that reaches the upper troposphere or even lower stratosphere and may involve precipitation, hail, lightning, extreme low-level winds and in some cases even tornadoes.

  • Q

QA/QC: Quality Assurance/Quality Control.

QSI: Quality Step Increase and why timing matters, factors to consider, etc. A Quality Step Increase is a faster than normal within-grade increase used to reward employees at all General Schedule grade levels who display high quality performance.

  • R

R1: Region 1 ‘Northern Region’, including parts of Montana and South Dakota

R2: Region 2 ‘Rocky Mountain Region’, including parts of Colorado, South Dakota, Wyoming, and Nebraska.

R3: Region 3 ‘Southwest Region’, including parts of Arizona, New Mexico and Oklahoma.

R4: Region 4 ‘Intermountain Region’ or Great Basin, including parts of Idaho, Utah and Wyoming & Nevada.

R5: Region 5 ‘Pacific Southwest’, California, Hawaii, Guam, and other Pacific Islands.

R6: Region 6 ‘Pacific Northwest’, Oregon and Washington

R8: Region8 ‘Southern Region’, including parts of Arkansas, and North and South Carolina.

R9: Region 9 ‘Eastern Region’, includes Forests on twenty states.

R10: Region 10 ‘Alaska Region’, Alaska.

RA: Resource Advisor

RAP: Rappeller as in heli-rappeller

RASM: Regional Aviation Safety Manager

RAWS: Remote Automated Weather System. A GEOS telemetered weather station that transmits hourly observations 24 times per day. These observations are automatically delivered through ASCADS to WIMS. NIFC distributes the info to fire managers nationwide.

R&R: Rest and relaxation

RCFP: The Rural Community Fire Protection Program, now called the VFA.

RD: Ranger District

RDO: Required day off.

RECON: Reconnaissance. To examine a fire area to obtain information about current and probable fire behavior and other related fire suppression information.

REMS: Remote Environmental Monitoring System.

RESTAT: Resources Status (NIMS)

RFD: Rural Fire District. An organization established to provide fire protection to a designated geographic area outside of areas under municipal fire protection. Usually has some taxing authority and officials may be appointed or elected.

RFPD: Rural Fire Protection District, see also VFD

REMF: Rear Echelon Mother blankity blank, a military term; the overhead not on the ground (who may never have been on the ground)

RFQ: Request for Quotation as for an Engine Tender, supplies the the list of contract specs., engine inventory lists, performance standards, training standards, engine inspection sheets, and lists of contacts around the region to get inspected as a contractor.

RFW: Red Flag Warning

RG: Relative Greenness: An NDVI-derived image of vegetation greenness compared to how green it has been historically.

RH: Relative Humidity: The ratio of the amount of moisture in the air, to the maximum amount of moisture that air would contain if it were saturated. The ratio of the actual vapor pressure to the saturated vapor pressure.

RHC: Regional Hotshot Crew, type 1

RLT: Regional Leadership Team. The highest management team of the Forest Service for a Region.

RM: Risk Management: A continuous, five-step process that provides a systematic method for identifying and managing the risks associated with any operation.

RMRS: Rocky Mountain Research Station

RNP: Redwood National Park unit identifier.

RO: Regional Office

ROC: a Report on Conditions sent by Cal Fire ECC’s to SOPS or NOPS for incidents.

ROFLMAO: Rolling On the Floor, Laughing My A$$ Off!Chat acronym.

RON: Remain overnight; often used in terms of the point where a coyote crew stops at the end of shift and camps out to resume work in the morning

ROP: Regional Occupational Program, a vocational training program operated at the state and county level. There are often good training opportunities for wildland firefighters, at least in CA.

ROS: Rate of Spread, as in fire behavior

ROSS: Resource Ordering and Status System, a computer program used by dispatch. A national system that provides automated support to interagency and agency dispatch and coordination offices. The system will provide current status of resources available to support all-risk activities; enable dispatch offices to exchange and track resource ordering information electronically; enable dispatch offices to rapidly and reliably exchange mission-critical emergency electronic messages.

RPD: Recognition Primed Decisionmaking. Simply put, RPD is what behavioral scientists say is at the root of how incident commanders make decisions in the complex wildland fire environment. You compare your present situation to a similar situation or situations that you have experienced previously, then make your decision based on your memory of the outcome(s) of the previous experience(s).

RIF: Reduction in Force

RLF: Regional Leadership Forum, R5 Line Officers and Directors (Forest Rangers and Supervisors)

RMCC: Rocky Mountain Coordination Center (see GACC)

RMRS: Rocky Mountain Research Center

RNP: Redwood National Park unit identifier.

RRU: Riverside Unit of CAL FIRE.

RTO: RTO has been used in hotshot crews and means “reverse tool order” or “reverse the order”. All it means is turn around and head back, give me a count and I will give you instructions after the count. It is what some call the “eject button” for a hand crew.

RUC: Rapid Update Cycle, a NOAA/ NCEP operational weather prediction system

RX: Prescribed, as in a prescribed burn. Sometimes Rx

  • S

S###: The S or skills class series in fire behavior.

S&M: Survey and Manage (Species)

SACC: Southern Area Coordination Center (see GACC)

SAIT: Safety Accident Investigation Team:From AAR to SAI

SA: Situational Awareness, or mindfulness (opposite of mindlessness, being on “autopilot”); what is happening here and now. Ab’s best try at a definition: A non-intuitive sensory adaptation of “paying attention” or seeing more clearly what the moment holds. Maintaining a moment-by-moment, dynamically-changing awareness of your (fire) environment and you in it. Focusing your awareness on what you see and what you feel NOW, how does that compare to what you have seen-felt before? how is that different from what you have seen-felt before? Stripping away stereotype and being aware of the possible question based on reason and gut feeling: If it looks ok, why does it not feel ok? Stepping outside of what everyone else might think is true or what you might “assume” to be true to look at possible uncertain, possible unpleasant alternative explanations. It’s not thinking harder, but seeing more clearly the truth of the moment.

SAFECOM: Safety Communique for aviation: Same as SAFENET, but for aviation.

SAFENET: Safety Communique for ground forces. SAFENET is a form and process used by wildland firefighting agencies for reporting and resolving incidents relating to firefighter safety. The information collected is used to determine long-term trends and problem areas within the wildland fire industry.

SAI: Serious Accident Investigation, with the intent of preventing future accidents and defending the organization from litigation; involves both a factual section (identifying chronologically the causal and contributing factors that led to the accident) and a management evaluation section; an administrative review for investigative purposes. Witness statements are taken. Can result in 1) individual consequences if there was “reckless and willful disregard for human safety” and/or 2) agency policy change. Contrast with APA (Accident Prevention Analysis).Hierarchy of Analysis/Investigation for a Learning Organization: AAR –> FLA –> APA –>SAI

SAIT: Serious Accident Investigation Team

SAR: Search and Rescue; except when talking about ICS (or CICS) history it meant Suppression and Rescue

SBC: Santa Barbara County Fire Department unit identifier.

SBDC: Santa Barbara Dispatch Center unit identifier.

SC: Spread Component a term of the NFDRS.

SCBA: Self Contained Breathing Apparatus, primarily used in structure firefighting but increasingly available on the wildland-urban interface.

SCK: Aviation abbreviation for Sacramento Air Field, Sacramento CA.

SCU: Santa Clara Unit of CAL FIRE.

SDO: Standards Development Organizations (NIMS)

SDTDC: San Dimas Technology and Development Center, located in SoCal near LA.

SEAT: Single Engine Air Tanker

SERT: Reference an individual forest’s Continuity of Operations Plan, 2012 (COOP):Significant Events Response Team, A team which helps government agencies establish communication command centers. The regional COOP plan will have contact information.

SES: Senior Executive Service

SF171: US Government application for employment

SFA: State Fire Assistance. In western states, NFP State Fire Assistance (SFA) funding is available and awarded through a competitive process with emphasis on hazard fuel reduction, information and education, and community and homeowner action

SFC: Sergeant First Class

SFOs: Standard Firefighting Orders, 10 of ‘em.

SHF: Shasta-Trinity National Forest unit identifier

SHU: Shasta-Trinity Unit of CAL FIRE.

SKU: Siskiyou Unit of CAL FIRE.

SHWT: Safety and Health Working Team, of the NWCG

SIMWYE: Reversible Siamese

SIP: State Implementation Plan

SIPT: Safety & Infrastructure Protection Team/Technician. PG&E’s in-house Type 6 engine crews, typically with 2/0 staffing.

SIT: Interagency Management Situation Report summarizes statistics on the fires burning across the United States by individual fire, region, for both prescribed burns and wildfires and reports resources that are committed on that day.

SITREP: Situation Report (NIMS)

SJ: Smokejumper

SLC: Unofficial abbreviation used by posters for Salt Lake City UT

SL: Staffing Level with respect to fire management ranges from 1-5, a term of the NFDRS.

SLU: San Luis Obispo Unit of CAL FIRE.

SM: Survey and Manage (species)

SMJ: Smokejumper

SNAFU: Situation Normal, All F’ed Up, military term that is now in common parlance

SNF: Shasta-Trinity National Forest unit identifier.

SNF: Sierra Nevada Framework

SO: Supervisor’s Office or Safety Officer. Also Sheriff’s Office. Occasionally Significant Other;

SOFE: Second Order Fire Effects: The secondary effects of fire such as tree regeneration, plant succession, and changes in site productivity. Although second order fire effects are dependent, in part, on first order fire effects, they also involve interaction with many other non-fire variables.

SOB: Son of a B**

SOG: Standard Operating Guideline

SOL: Sh** Outta Luck

SOP: Standard Operating Procedure

SOPS/South OPS: South Ops, the Coordination Center for Southern CA (see GACC)

SPB: State Personnel Board, as in CA SPB, which has a website that contains open list information and includes testing dates for primary and secondary state fire jobs such as FEM and HEM for which the public can test every few years.

SQF: Sequoia National Forest unit identifier.

SR: Single Resource in contrast to Strike Team…

SRA: State Resource Area, in California, the area under the jurisdiction of the state as opposed to the Feds or the County.

SRB: Single Resource Boss

SRF: Six Rivers National Forest unit identifier.

SSA: Smoke-Sensitive Area: Area where smoke from outside sources is intolerable, for reasons such as heavy population, existing air pollution, or intensive recreation or tourist use.

ST: State (kind of crew designation); or Strike Team, for example an engine Strike Team consists of 5 fire engines of the same type and a lead vehicle. The strike team leader is usually a captain or a battalion chief. Strike teams can also be made up of bulldozers or handcrews. (Often in contrast to SR or single resource.)

STEX: Sand Table Exercises, a form of training groups of people, for example hotshots use STEX to work on developing their tactical knowledge in the face of developing scenarios

STF: Stanislaus National Forest unit identifier.

STOL: Short Takeoff and Landing, often refers to a smokejumper aircraft such as a Twin Otter.

STOP: (Fire) STOP, or Standard Type One Program, a kind of helicopter program

SWS: Static Water Supply, the designation of pools, spas and other sources of water for fighting fire used in Australia.

STL(D): Strike team leader, sometimes the D is included

SWCC: Southwest Coordination Center (see GACC)

SWFRS: Sierra Wildland Fire Reporting System

SWFF: South West Fire Fighters

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  • T

T&E: Threatened and Endangered (Species)

TAC: Tactical radio channels, may be assigned by Division or Group.

TARMS: Tactical Aviation Research Management

TCU: Tuolumne-Calaveras Unit of CAL FIRE.

TES: Threatened and Endangered Species

TFLD: Task Force Leader.

TFM: Technical Fire Management

TFR: Temporary Flight Restrictions occur in the airspace above wildland fires and when the President flies in to visit a fire. It reduces air traffic to essential aircraft only.

TFS: Texas Forest Service, the Texas equivalent of the DNR or the Dept of Forestry, other state forestry organizations that have a fire component.

TGU: Tehama Glenn Unit of CAL FIRE.

TL: Time lag

TLC: Tender Loving Care

TMC: Travel Management Center

TMU: Lake Tahoe Basin Management Unit, managed by FS FAM in R5; the Fire Management Officer (FMO) who manages the TMU is part of the R5 Board of Directors (BOD). In California most fire management “Units” are under CalFire jurisdiction, except for this one, which is fed managed.

TOS: Transfer of Station. Moving to a new “duty station”

TNC: The Nature Conservancy, a non-governmental organization or NGO

TNF: Tahoe National Forest unit identifier.

TPP: Thermal Protective Performance, a rating for PPE

TRPA: Tahoe Regional Planning Agency, mentioned following the Angora Fire ’07.

TSI: Timber Stand Improvement

TTO: Tank Truck Operator, old name for FEOs/Engineers. All are assistant foremen on an engine.

TUU: Tulare Unit of CAL FIRE.

TWP: Township

TWT: Training Working Team of the NWCG

  • U

UAC: Unified Area Command or Area Command, part of the ICS, established as necessary to provide command authority and coordination for two or more incidents in close proximity. Area Command works directly with Incident Commanders. Area Command becomes Unified Area Command when incidents are multijurisdictional. Area Command may be established at an EOC facility or at a location other than an ICP.

UAV: Unmanned Aerial Vehicle, aerial drone. Used for mapping and aerial ignition.

UC: Unified Command, an application of the ICS used when there is more than one agency with incident jurisdiction. Agencies work together through their designated Incident Commanders at a single ICP to establish a common set of objectives and strategies, and a single Incident Action Plan.

UHF: Ultra High Frequency. Radio frequencies from 300 Megahertz (MHz) to 3,000 MHz with a normal range of less than 50 miles. Radio frequency common to military aircraft and used in the logistics radio system. The most common frequencies used by fire and public safety are from 406 MHz to 512 MHz.

UI: Urban Interface, refers to the wildland/urban interface; alternatively, Unemployment Insurance

URL: Uniform Resource Locator. The address to a source of information on the Internet. The URL contains four distinct parts: the protocol type (http, for hypertext transfer protocol), the domain name (wildfireintel.org), and the resource (t/wildfire-glossary/23657/5) in the address http://forums.wildfireintel.org/t/wildfire-glossary/23657/5.

UTL: Unable to locate

US&R/USAR: Urban Search and Rescue

USDA: United States Department of Agriculture

USFA: United States Fire Administration

USFS: United States Forest Service, “green engines”

UTF: Unable to Fill, as in resource order requests for large fire support.

UXO: Unexploded ordinance; most likely on military bases.

  • V

VFA: TheVolunteer Fire Assistance Program, formerly known as the Rural Community Fire Protection (RCFP) Program, can provide Federal financial, technical, and other assistance to State Foresters and other appropriate officials to organize, train and equip fire departments in rural areas and rural communities to prevent and suppress fires. A rural community is defined as having 10,000 or less population.

VFD: Volunteer fire department in which some or all members are unpaid.

VFRC: Visual Flight Rules Conditions: Basic weather conditions prescribed for flight under Visual Flight Rules: ceiling above 1,000 feet (300 m) and flight visibility in excess of 3 miles (5 km).

VFW: Veterans of Foreign Wars

VG: Visual Greenness

VH: Very High, as in fire danger rating

VHF: Very High Frequency. Typical public safety frequencies will be around 150 MHz (FM) and aviation frequencies will be between 118-137 MHz (AM)

Victor: Refers to VHF frequencies used by aircraft

VIP: Volunteers in Prevention, CDF volunteers called in to help in emergency situations. Also “very important person.”

VLAT: Very Large Air Tanker, currently the DC-10s (Tankers 911-914)

VMP: Vegetation Management Program for reducing flammable vegetation. LACounty has an aggressive program of fuel reduction on the interface.

VNC: Ventura County Fire Department unit identifier.

VOG: Volcanic Fog – sometimes used for hot gasses (steam, etc) escaping volcanoes, but most often used for the “steam” when lava flows hit water. VOG contains toxic chemicals. Watch out for it when fighting fires in Hawaii, for example.

VOR: VHF Omnidirectional Radio Range: System of radio navigation in which any magnetic bearing relative to a special radio transmitter on the ground may be chosen and flown by an aircraft pilot.

  • W

WAE: When Actually Employed: Technically the term should not be used anymore since our FS appointments specify some number of guaranteed pay periods, ie, 18/8 or 13/13 (eg, 18 on and 8 off). However, often we still use it to mean a tour other than PFT (Permanent Full Time, 26/0). With WAE the employee has their permanent status (Career or Career Conditional) and gets benefits, but works less than year round. Example: WAE 13/13 means actually employed for half the pay periods possible.

WAG: Wild-Assed Guess.

WCF: Working Capital Fund, fund code

WCFA: Contractors’ organization.

WCT: Work Capacity Test

WEMT: Wilderness EMT or wilderness emergency medical responder

WFAS: Wildland Fire Assessment System

WFDSS: Wildland Fire Decision Support System

WFF: Wildland Firefighter Foundation

WFHF: Wildland Fire Hazardous Fuels, a fund code (other fund codes: WFPR and WFSU)

WFIP: Wildland Fire Implementation Plan, a progressively developed assessment and operational management plan that documents the analysis and selection of strategies and describes the appropriate management response for a wildland fire being managed for resource benefits.

WFLC: Wildland Fire Leadership Council.

WFPR: Wildland Fire Preparedness Resources or Wildland Fire Pre-suppression Fund, a fund code; Appropriated Funds, theoretically, not used for other purposes without approval of the chief. This was frequently disregarded in 2006 by Line Officers on forests. The two current fire planning models (NFMAS and FPA) both show that dollars spent for preparedness (planned need) significantly reduce the losses from unplanned fire events.

WFS: Women in the Fire Service and camp for young women, Camp Blaze

WFSA: Wildland Fire Situation Analysis is a decision-making process that evaluates alternative suppression strategies against selected environmental, social, political and economic criteria. Provides a record of decisions.

WFSU: Wildland Fire Suppression and Severity, a fund code (unplanned need); The two current fire planning models (NFMAS and FPA) both show that dollars spent for preparedness (planned need) significantly reduce the losses from unplanned fire events.

WFTC: Wildland Fire Training Center in Sacramento CA

WFU: Wildland Fire Use; sometimes a Fire Use Management Team is called in if the best use is to let the fire burn to enhance the environment. See also WFRUB, the same thing.

WFURB: Wildland Fire Use for Resource Benefit. Biker Joe said it might otherwise be called “prescribed natural fire”. See WFIP.

WGBCC: Western Great Basin Coordination Center (see GACC)

WIMS: Weather Information Management System

WLF: or WLF.com, acronym for wildlandfire.com

WMD: Weapons of Mass Destruction

WO: Washington Office

WRAPS: Workforce Reduction and Placement System

WRCC: Western Regional Climate Center

WSA: Wilderness Study Area

WT: Water Tender

WUI: Wildland Urban Interface (Pronounced Woo-ee.) The line, area or zone where structures and other human development meet or intermingle with undeveloped wildland or vegetative fuel.

  • Y

YNP: Yosemite National Park unit identifier

  • Z

ZUI: Zooming User Interface, (Pronounced Zoo-ee) a kind of graphical interface that lets the user zoom in, as on Google Earth and Google Maps.


This is awesome! Thank you so much for putting this together.


I don’t see FUBAR on that list! I stand corrected it’s there just in a more PC definition.


AD is Administrative Deployment. At least that’s what they call it here in the LNF.

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Here is what NWCG says:

Administratively Determined (AD)