ANCHOR POIN T
A strategic and safe point, usually a barrier to fire spread, from which to start constructing fire line (or retardant line).
BASE (OF A FIRE)
The part of the fire perimeter opposite the head.
Means “turn” left or right. Applies to aircraft in flight, usually on the drop run and when given as a command to the pilot. Implies a prompt compliance.
The uppermost spreading, branchy layer of vegetation.
The four chief points of the compass: North, South, East, West.
A means of establishing a target or point by reference to clock directions where the nose of the aircraft is 12 o clock, moving clockwise to the tail at 6 o’clock. “The target is now at your 9 o’clock position.”
How a helicopter is equipped.
An inclusive term for all constructed or natural fire barriers and treated fire edge used to control a fire’s spread.
Density of retardant in drop. Normally ranges from 1 to 7 and represents the number of gallons in a 100 square foot area.
A fire that advances from top to top of trees or shrubs.
Change in aircraft assignment from one target to another or to a new fire.
Fire line constructed by a dozer. Same as cat line.
Area drained by a river or stream. Usually includes at least one main canyon and several side canyons.
Smoke that has drifted from its point of origin and has lost any original billow form.
That which is dropped in a cargo dropping or retardant dropping operation.
The area around and immediately above the target to be dropped on.
Indicating drop was early or short of the target.
command used to indicate the direction air attack wants the tanker pilot to fly after a given maneuver: i.e., “Exit southbound over the lake.”
To drop retardant in such a way that the load slightly overlaps and lengthens a previous drop. “Extend your last drop.”
The long narrow tongues of a fire projecting from the main body.
A strip of land on which the vegetation is removed to mineral soil for fire control purposes.
The active burning edge of a fire or its exterior burned limits.
The parts of a fire’s perimeter that are roughly parallel to the main direction of spread. The left flank is the left side as viewed from the origin or base of the fire, looking toward the head.
A sudden acceleration of fire spread of intensity.
A wide strip or block of land on which the vegetation has been permanently modified to a low volume fuel type so that fires burning into it can be more readily controlled.
HEAD (OF FIRE)
The most rapidly spreading portion of a fire s perimeter, usually to the leeward or upslope.
Term used to describe making a turn from the flank and across the head.
A particularly active part of a fire.
Checking the spread of a fire at crucial points.
An unburned area within a fire perimeter.
To reduce flame or head in a specified target. Indicates the retardant load should fall directly on the burning perimeter or object.
Indicating drop was late or overshot the target.
Low altitude run over the targeted area. May be used by air attack or lead plane to get a close look at the target or to show a tanker pilot a target which is difficult to describe. May be used by tanker pilot to get a better look at the target or to warn ground personnel of an impending drop.
Prominent ridgeline separating river or creek drainages. Usually has numerous smaller ridges (spur ridges) extending outward from both sides.
Acknowledgement to tanker pilot that his drop was well placed.
ORIGIN (OF A FIRE)
Point on the ground where the fire first started.
PARTS OF A FIRE
On typical free-burning fires the spread is uneven, with the main spread moving with the wind or upslope. The most rapidly moving portion is designated the head of the fire, the adjoining portions of the perimeter at right angles to the head are known as the flanks, and the slowest moving portions known as the base.
Laying a retardant line in advance of the fire where ground cover or terrain is best for fire control action, or to reinforce a control line.
Area of fuel covered by a retardant. Also degree of coverage of fuel.
The paths aircraft take from departure pattern to arrival pattern at destination.
Behavior of a fire or portion of a fire spreading rapidly with a well-defined head.
Low gap or pass in a ridgeline.
Dropping the entire load of retardant at one time, or dropping a combination of tanks simultaneously.
An area used for escape in the event the line is outflanked or in case a spot fire causes fuels outside the control line to render the line unsafe. During an emergency , tankers may be asked to construct a safety island using retardant drops.
A preliminary control line hastily built with hand tools as an emergency measure to check the spread of a fire.
A fire line built some distance away from the primary control line, used as a backup against slop-overs and spot fires.
Where the flank and the head meet.
The extension of a fire across a control line.
Behavior of a fire burning without flame and with a slow spread.
A standing dead tree or part of a dead tree from which at least the leaves and smaller branches have fallen.
The dropping of a partial load.
A fire caused by the transfer of burning material through the air into flammable material beyond the perimeter of the main fire.
Behavior of a fire producing sparks or embers that are carried by the wind and start new fires outside the perimeter of the main fire.
A small ridge which extends finger-like, from a main ridge.
Fire that burns surface litter, other loose debris of the forest floor, and small vegetation.
The area or object you want a retardant drop to cover. “Your target is the right flank.”
To connect a retardant drop with a specified point (road, stream, previous drop, etc.).
The path aircraft traffic takes when landing or taking off.
To drop tanks in sequence causing a long unbroken line.
Very high frequency radio. The standard aircraft radio that all civil and most military aircraft have to communicate with Federal Aviation Administration facilities. Some frequencies are designated for tactical use also.
To make two separate drops in an overlapping configuration, usually to stop the head.
Term of measurement used to adjust the path of a tanker.