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Developed and maintained
by the NFCC

Tactical lookouts (sector safety officers)

Responsibilities of a tactical lookout

Understand how to:

  • Deploy and maintain a vantage point with direct sight of assigned area of responsibility
  • Establish and maintain good communications with team lookouts, other tactical lookouts and other relevant personnel within the incident command system
  • Plan, evaluate and monitor the effectiveness of the escape route
  • Plan, evaluate and monitor safety zones
  • Monitor all teams and personnel within their area of responsibility and ensure they operate within the LACES safety protocol at all times
  • Gather and review information on:
    • Fuel type, condition and arrangement
    • Topography
  • Monitor current weather conditions and obtain accurate weather information
  • Use a wildfire prediction system to:
    • Predict future wildfire behaviour and fire spread
    • Identify windows of opportunity, trigger points and critical points
    • Inform the implementation of the LACES safety protocol
  • Inform the Incident Commander and other personnel, as appropriate, on predicted wildfire behaviour, firespread and potential windows of opportunity, critical points and trigger points
  • Monitor and communicate any observed or predicted changes in wildfire behaviour, firespread and / or weather conditions to the incident commander and other relevant personnel
  • Monitor and report any observed or predicted extreme wildfire behaviour to the incident commander, team lookouts, other tactical lookouts and other personnel as appropriate
  • Monitor and report the location of members of the public, vehicles and aircraft not involved in firefighting operations to the incident commander and other personnel as appropriate
  • Exchange information with relevant personnel and other agencies
  • Initiate and monitor the withdrawal of personnel from areas that become too hazardous