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Incident information

  • Control measure - Guidance

    Consider the effects of geography on equipment logistics, casualties and crew welfare

  • Control measure - Guidance

    Make contact with land owners, land managers, gamekeepers, countryside and national park rangers

  • Control measure - Guidance Consider using local knowledge, wildfire fire plans and/or Site-Specific Risk Information(SSRI)
  • Control measure - Guidance

    Identify and liaise with the owner or person responsible for any animals involved

  • Control measure - Guidance
    Identify and monitor fire – location, size, intensity, direction and rate of firespread
  • Control measure - Guidance
    Identify and monitor fuel – type, condition, moisture, arrangement
  • Control measure - Guidance

    Identify and monitor topography – aspect, slope, the position of fire on the slope, topographical hazards

  • Control measure - Guidance

    Identify any risk to life, property, heritage, ecological assets and livestock

  • Control measure - Guidance

    Identify and monitor weather – recent, current and predicted temperature, humidity, wind direction/speed

  • Further incident information

    • Control measure - Guidance

      Access any memoranda of understanding or other arrangements that exist for wildfire incidents

    • Control measure - Guidance

      Identify any quarries, bogs, marshes, shooting ranges, disused mines and barbed wire/electric fences

    • Control measure - Guidance

      Identify the location of electrical hazards, pylons, wind farms, substations, pipelines and other utilities

    • Control measure - Guidance
      Locate control lines that can be used to contain or restrict fire spread
    • Control measure - Guidance

      Consider using weather information from Met Office systems to establish the least hazardous routes to an incident

    • Control measure - Guidance

      Consider using aerial observation to gain situational awareness

Resource information

  • Control measure - Guidance

    Consider the appointment of a HMA (or equivalent) to oversee environmental protection activities

  • Control measure - Guidance Ensure sufficient resources are available to maintain a sustained firefighting attack
  • Control measure - Guidance
    Secure sufficient firefighting media to enable the fire to be fully extinguished
  • Control measure - Guidance

    Consider requesting high-pressure water fogging systems if available

  • Further resource information

    • Control measure - Guidance

      Identify best access route, rendezvous point (RVP) and marshalling area and communicate to all responders

    • Control measure - Guidance

      Identify and use the appropriate skills, vehicles or equipment of other organisations

    • Control measure - Guidance

      Consider requesting assistance from military agencies

    • Control measure - Guidance

      Consider the time taken to deploy resources to the location of any planned intervention

    • Consider the use of specialist off road and all-terrain vehicles (e.g. 4x4)

    • Control measure - Guidance

      Identify resources that may be available to contain or corral animals if needed

    • Control measure - Guidance

      Consider medical support requirements for remote locations including skills and equipment

    • Control measure - Guidance

      Consider requesting appropriate fixed-wing aircraft, helicopters and unmanned aircraft based on need

Risk information

  • Scene of operations and terrain

    • Control measure - Guidance

      Consider the size of the incident and the impact on deploying resources to carry out interventions

    • Control measure - Guidance

      Position tactical lookouts to monitor fire behaviour and the safety of personnel

    • Control measure - Guidance

      Consider the number of tactical lookouts required to survey the entire incident ground

    • Ensure that the location of crews is accurately reported and recorded

    • Control measure - Guidance
      Ensure that personnel expected to work at night review the area during daylight hours where possible
    • Control measure - Guidance

      Identify width, condition, gradient and suitability of roads, tracks and bridges for vehicles

    • Control measure - Guidance

      Provide first aid equipment to crews deployed to areas with no immediate medical assistance

  • Fire and thermal radiation

    • Control measure - Guidance
      Position vehicles anticipating fire development, thermal radiation, collapse, smoke and other hazards
    • Control measure - Guidance

      Assign team and tactical lookouts to observe, monitor and predict fire development and spread

    • Control measure - Guidance

      Identify presence and arrangement of ground fuels, smouldering fuels and aerial fuels

    • Control measure - Guidance

      Continually monitor the incident area for undetected fire spread

    • Control measure - Guidance

      Ensure that Firefighting PPE is worn in accordance with service risk assessment, procedures and training

  • Smoke and fire gases

    • Control measure - Guidance

      Access past, present and future weather information from Met Office systems (e.g. Hazard Manager)

    • ARCHIVED Obtain advice from the hazardous materials adviser (HMA) regarding any downwind protection zone

    • Control measure - Guidance

      Request that the fire control room notifies air traffic control if a wildfire incident is likely to present a hazard to aircraft

    • Control measure - Guidance

      Consider the impact of smoke plume on downwind life risk, road users and other transport networks

    • Control measure - Guidance

      Ensure that all personnel wear the type of RPE identified by service risk assessments, procedures and training

  • Entrapment of people and vehicles

    • Control measure - Guidance
      Clearly define access, egress and escape routes to personnel and confirm their understanding
    • Anticipate incident development and how this might impact on access, egress and escape routes for vehicles

    • Control measure - Guidance

      Deploy personnel to accompany representatives of other agencies on the incident ground

    • Assign team and tactical lookouts to identify, monitor and communicate vehicle escape routes at wildfires

    • Initiate the withdrawal of vehicles if operation is too hazardous

    • Ensure that hose is laid so that it does not block access, egress and escape routes

  • Temperature extremes

    • Control measure - Guidance Monitor personnel exposed to extremes of temperature for signs and symptoms of heat stress or hypothermia
    • Control measure - Guidance Rotate personnel undertaking arduous manual tasks and consider a relief strategy
    • Control measure - Guidance Instigate appropriate medical interventions if personnel show signs and symptoms of physiological stress
    • Control measure - Guidance

      Ensure personnel are given opportunities to cool down and rehydrate (e.g. relax PPE and provide drinking water)

  • Aircraft (fixed wing, helicopters and drones

    • Control measure - Guidance

      Brief all responders regarding the areas, tasks and duration of aircraft and/or helicopter operations

    • Control measure - Guidance Clear all debris from the surrounding area, to reduce the likelihood of flying debris that may cause injury or damage
  • Animals

    • Develop a tactical plan that considers loose, trapped or other animals

    • Control measure - Guidance

      Identify and communicate the presence of animals and any associated risk to responders and the public

    • Control measure - Guidance

      Consider alternative routes if access or egress is obstructed by the presence of animals or insects

    • Control measure - Guidance

      Request support with managing animals from owners, keepers, police, vets or welfare organisations

    • Consider risk from animal/insect bites and stings

  • Environmental impact

    • Control measure - Guidance

      Consider pollution prevention information contained within site specific risk plans

    • Control measure - Guidance

      Implement the environmental protection measures identified in operational risk information

    • Control measure - Guidance

      Consider seeking specialist advice from a HMA on remedial action for spillages and fire water run off

    • Control measure - Guidance

      Implement appropriate control measures on the receipt of air quality information

Powers, policies and procedures

  • Control measure - Guidance

    Ensure compliance with the powers of entry granted by the Fire and Rescue Services Act and devolved equivalent

  • Further powers, policies and procedures

    • Control measure - Guidance
      Consider the legal exemptions in relation to environmental protection i.e.
      • A discharge is made in an emergency to avoid danger to human health
      • All reasonably practicable steps were taken to minimise pollution
      • The relevant environment agency is informed of the incident as soon as possible
Why? Expectations? Benefit vs Risk?

Objectives

  • Control measure - Guidance

    Maintain the safety of all personnel, other responders and the public

  • Control measure - Guidance

    Identify any risk to life, property, heritage, ecological assets and livestock

  • Control measure - Guidance

    Prevent escalation, contain and extinguish the fire considering all ignition sources

  • Further objectives

    • Control measure - Guidance
      Promote community recovery and restore normal operations
    • Control measure - Guidance

      Minimise the impact of the incident and fire service actions on any identified environmental risk

Tactical priorities

  • Control measure - Guidance
    Develop a tactical plan considering predicted fire behaviour, spread and availability of resources
  • Control measure - Guidance

    Identify windows of opportunity, trigger points and critical points when planning interventions

  • Control measure - Guidance

    Consider the location, size, severity and speed of fire development when planning interventions

  • Control measure - Guidance
    Use a Wildfire Prediction System (WPS) to assist with the prediction of future fire behaviour and spread
  • Control measure - Guidance

    Implement the LACES safety protocol and deploy team and tactical lookouts at the earliest opportunity

  • Develop and review emergency arrangements for the entrapment of a vehicle and personnel

  • Further tactical priorities

    • Control measure - Guidance

      Carry out an environmental risk assessment and monitor the impact of tactics on the identified risk

    • Control measure - Guidance

      Consider improving access and creating a fuel break by tree felling where it is justifiable

    • Control measure - Guidance

      Consider the impact of operational activity and equipment noise on animal behaviour

    • Control measure - Guidance Regularly review the effectiveness of the tactical plan and the suppression tactics being used
    • Control measure - Guidance
      Deploy sufficiently sized teams to safely and effectively complete the tasks they have been assigned
    • Control measure - Guidance

      Develop and organise a water / media management strategy or nominate a water officer

Operational tactics

  • Control measure - Guidance

    Consider a strong and speedy initial attack where a window of opportunity exists

  • Control measure - Guidance
    Consider direct, indirect and aerial attack depending on fire intensity and flame length
  • Control measure - Guidance

    Use the appropriate extinguishing method, media, techniques and equipment

  • Control measure - Guidance
    Consider prioritising operations close to roads, recognised paths or tracks
  • Control measure - Guidance

    Assess the fuel type, weather conditions, resources and time required to create an effective firebreak

  • Further operational tactics

    • Control measure - Guidance
      Ensure ground resources and personnel are deployed to support direct attack by aircraft
    • Control measure - Guidance

      Consider creating a firebreak to prevent firespread, considering the time required to implement

    • Control measure - Guidance
      Adopt a systematic approach when using thermal imaging cameras to scan and search an area
    • Control measure - Guidance
      Consider separating burning material from the fire using heavy plant and extinguishing it
    • Control measure - Guidance

      Consider using hand tools or high-pressure water fogging units at sensitive sites 

    • ARCHIVED Plan indirect attacks with land owners and managers to ensure effective operations and promote recovery
    • Control measure - Guidance
      Identify hot-spots and deep seated fires and start damping down and turning over
    • Control measure - Guidance
      Observe effect of aerial water and retardant drops and communicate to the aerial sector commander

Communication

  • Control measure - Guidance
    Deliver comprehensive briefings on predicted fire behaviour, firespread and identified trigger points
  • Control measure - Guidance

    Assign team and tactical lookouts to observe, monitor and predict fire development and spread

  • Communicate incident location to fire control using landmarks, fixed reference points or map references

  • Communicate identified access, egress and escape routes for vehicles to personnel

  • Control measure - Guidance

    Brief other organisations on how the LACES safety protocols will be implemented

  • Control measure - Guidance Use appropriate means to warn, inform, instruct and update people involved in emergency incidents
  • Further communication

    • Control measure - Guidance Communicate any changes to predicted fire behaviour and firespread to personnel

      All personnel working at wildfire incidents should inform the team lookout, tactical lookout and/or incident commander as soon as possible if they observe extreme fire behaviour.

    • Report any obstructions or changes to conditions on access, egress and escape routes to the incident commander

    • Control measure - Guidance

      Establish resilient telecommunications with other responding agencies and consider talk groups

    • Control measure - Guidance

      Brief lookouts on their roles and areas of responsibilities for observation and monitoring

    • Control measure - Guidance

      Provide lookouts with information about the presence of ground, smouldering and aerial fuels

    • Control measure - Guidance

      Regularly communicate current situation and predicted fire behaviour and spread to all personnel

    • Control measure - Guidance

      Communicate with other organisations to gain a knowledge of the vehicles and equipment being used

    • Control measure - Guidance
      Establish and maintain communications between personnel on the ground and aircraft
    • Control measure - Guidance

      Brief the pilots of all aircraft regarding incident hazards and the locations of personnel

    • Control measure - Guidance

      Brief pilots and aircraft operators of their task or mission, objectives, and any hazards identified

    • Control measure - Guidance
      Ensure all personnel are aware of the intended locations of any water, retardant or equipment drops 
    • Control measure - Guidance

      Communicate any risk to the environment to those attending the incident and relevant agencies

    • Control measure - Guidance
      Consider deploying a tactical lookout to accompany the operator of any aircraft as an aerial observer

Control

  • Control measure - Guidance
    Clearly define access, egress and escape routes to personnel and confirm their understanding
  • Control measure - Guidance

    Establish ‘exclusion zones’ to protect sensitive assets that may be affected by firefighting

  • Control measure - Guidance

    Keep a record of all personnel operating in a sector and carry out regular roll calls

  • Further control information

    • Control measure - Guidance

      Consider establishing a forward control point

    • Control measure - Guidance
      Establish sectorisation based on identifiable features and landmarks
    • Control measure - Guidance

      Plan for the relocation of incident command based on prediction of fire behaviour and spread

    • Consider requesting traffic restrictions and/or ’variable message’ road signs in liaison with the police

    • Establish one-way systems, particularly when there are narrow roads and/or limited passing places

    • Control measure - Guidance

      Request an air exclusion zone through the appropriate authority if required

    • Record the activities of other organisations, including location of personnel, vehicles or equipment

    • Control measure - Guidance

      Create an aerial sector and appoint an aerial sector commander when aircraft are in use

    • Control measure - Guidance

      Ensure that specialist vehicles and equipment are only operated by competent personnel

Incident closure and handover

  • Control measure - Guidance

    Implement an appropriate inspection routine to ensure that the fire is fully extinguished

  • Further incident closure and handover

    • Control measure - Guidance

      Hand over responsibility for removed items and security of premises to the responsible person or the police

    • Control measure - Guidance

      Carry out fire investigations at a level appropriate to the scale of the incident

    • Control measure - Guidance
      Identify the area of origin and investigate possible causes of the fire considering criminal acts
    • Carry out decontamination of personnel and equipment following advice from specialist advisers and hazardous material advisers (HMA)
    • Control measure - Guidance

      Monitor and review the potential impact on public health with the assistance of the public health agency

Additional information

 LACES is an acronym and stands for: 

  • Lookouts 
  • Awareness 
  • Communications 
  • Escape routes 
  • Safety zones

 

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