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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, mail Ab at and Ab will be glad to include it/them.

NWCG Fire Glossary (html)
NWCG - ICS Fire Glossary (pdf)
KHE's Fire Glossary
R5 Forest Unit Identifiers (quick)
Complete ICS List of Unit Identifiers
(large rtf download, options for sections)
Redcard Position Mnemonics (2009)

Fire Acronyms by Letter

























Acronym Definition
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.


AA Air Attack: Light aircraft (airplane or helicopter) that carries the ATGS; also Slang for Affirmative Action
AAP Association of AirTanker Pilots
AAR After Action Review, informally and professionally conducted in search of lessons learned, usually by the crew involved who provide verbal feedback to each other and going no further, as no written record is kept; not for investigative purposes but to aid crews in continuously improving themselves. It's one tool for gaining candid insights into specific firefighter, leader, unit and systemic strengths and weaknesses from various perspectives. - Feedback and insight critical to actions that were not standard operating procedures, or those that presented safety problems. Information usually does not get into the wider field. From AAR to SAI
Hierarchy of Analysis/Investigation for a Learning Organization: AAR --> FLA --> APA --> SAI
Fire size class
Size Class by Acres Size Class by Acres So ABC Misc or
ABC Miscellaneous
is a collection of
very small  to
small fires



0 - 1/4 acre
1/4 - 10
10 - 99


100 - 299
300 - 999
1000 - 4999
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
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; with NFFE, could be supplanted by IAFF (primary AFL-CIO firefighter local) under Employee Free Choice Act; discussion 3/25/09 theysaid
AFMO Assistant Fire Management Officer
AG Those who were following the thread when this acronym came up, or know the helitack scene, know it is an 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; discussed on 3/9/09 theysaid; Illinois AHIMT Conference Findings (1444 K pdf file; 53 pages)
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-II's. ALS care providers (paramedics and above) can -besides do everything EMTs do- start IVs, give you drugs, read an electrocardiogram (heart monitor), and defibrillate (shock) you. Most crews have one or two EMT qualified members, but paramedics are pretty 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 is 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 (Link not available because of national security concerns.)
ASA Air Stagnation Advisory
ASAP Automated Staffing Application Program of the FS fire hire FS 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. Original titles were the top man in the county was the Ranger, next level was Associate Ranger then the Assistant Ranger. Later that was changed to Ranger IV down to Ranger I. The titles now are 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 groundpounders need (want). See the Redcard mnemonics page, link at the top of this page.
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
AVUE a site where you can apply digitally for some fire jobs. In hiring year '00-01, they were supposed to have scannable Form C available for the FS fire jobs application process and did not. Also AVUE the software program purchased by the WO and potentially being used in hiring year '01-02.
AWS Automatic Weather Station: A non-GOES telemetered weather station that provides hourly observations to a local database
AWOL Absent without leave.


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 pant the National Cache system is changing to. 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. Everyone loves them and they are being manufactured by vendors other than the national contract in various colors.
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. First described by Pulaski on theysaid in the late 90s.
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. See Links page.
BIFC Boise Interagency Fire Center, now called National Interagency Fire Center (NIFC)
BIFZ Burns Interagency Fire Zone
BK A kind of radio
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 generally means EMTs, which can only perform "non-invasive" procedures, ie no sticking you with needles or putting tubes down your throat, just band aids, oxygen, maybe a splint or two, and in the worst case, some good ol' CPR. See also ALS.
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.
BOTSH Big Ol' Titty Squeezin' Hug, an acronym used in chat.
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, see Navy Seal.Workouts
BUI Buildup Index: A relative measure of the cumulative effect of daily drying factors and precipitation on fuels with a ten-day timelag.


CIIMT California Interagency Incident Management Team. For links to the CIIMTs, see: see Type 1 IMTs and Type 2 IMTs. See ICT.
CAD Computer Aided Dispatch
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 (formerly Office of Emergency Services)
CAL FIRE California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection, "red engines". (Formerly CDF) Interactive map with contact phone numbers. Pdf file of operational unit boundaries
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. from theysaid 10/31-11/1/07: 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 the Congressionals 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". See Links page.
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". See theysaid post by Contract County Guy on 11/11/03.
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. Introduced in Aussie CFU's post of 5/15/02.
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.
CIC Comfort Incident Commander, what Sammi calls herself as she helps her 6 firefighting kids get their gear, etc. organized and tracks their assignments. See the beginning of familysaid (08/18/01) to read her description.
CICCS California Incident Command Qualification System. See theysaid discussion 8/17-8/20/04.
CIP Crisis ? (Something about facilities)
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 HCN a 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 Cardio-pulmonary resuscitation
CPS Campbell Prediction System, information found at See Programs page.
CTL Cut To Length, a kind of timber harvester
CRM Crew Resource Management. It was 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. Definition
CRS Can't Remember Syndrome, coined by FirenWater, similar in symptoms to "Oldtimers" Syndrome that Hickman has described so well.
CRT Reference an individual forest's Continuity of Operations Plan, 2012 (COOP): Critical Response Team, the pre-selected team who directs the forest’s 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 Region
Cal 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 Coordinatiion Group
CWN Call When Needed, refers to aircraft that have a call when needed contract with an agency.
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 you" or "cover your a**", or California Youth Authority, depending on context.
CZU San Mateo-Santa Cruz unit of CAL FIRE.


DA Departure from Avg 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 colums.See 9/11/07 theysaid or read: Dr. Brian E. Potter,“The role of released moisture in the atmospheric dynamics associated with wildland fires”. Potter, Brian E., International Journal of Wildland Fire, 2005, 14, 77-84.

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; DoA = Delegation of Authority; also, possibly, 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 from familysaid
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; described briefly by Old Sawyer on 3/17/09
DW Doublewide, a trailer
DZ Drop Zone: Target area for airtankers, helitankers, cargo dropping.


EA Extended Attack or
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.
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 One of the two major Weather Prediction Models; the other is GFS; don't know what the letters stand for.
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 (EEPs) 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 tp the duration of the emergency only.
EFp Emission Factor: The mass of particulate matter produced per unit mass of fuel consumed (pounds perton, 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: adio 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, referenced during the AU fires of 2009 (eg 2/18/09 theysaid).
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)
EMSA Emergency Medical Services Authority discussion centered around SoCal 8/23/05
EMT Emergency Medical Technician, see also ALS and BLS.
EMTB- basic; EMTI- intermediate; EMTP- paramedic
EKG Electrocardiogram, a measure of cardiovascular fitness
END Exotic Newcastle's Disease, a virus that infects chickens.
ENF Eldorado 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 under the Dept of Homeland Security; formerly 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 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. "Another CDF BC" pointed out on 11/9/03 that their system works well too. "In order to get a call that takes you out of county, you have to be blessed by the unit management. In other words, you must prove competency among your 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. See Lobotomy's post on theysaid 9/15/05. Note: 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 (local)
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. They provided good info during the SoCal Firestorm of '03.
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 EnRoute: 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.


FAA Federal Aviation Administration
F&AM Fire and Aviation Management of the USDA FS
FACE Fatality Assessment and Control Evaluation Program; example of report
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. For the complete list of Redcard mnemonics for wildland fire positions, see the link at the top of the page.
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. This is hard to do. See 8/18/03 theysaid for the text of the Presumptive Disabilities Act.
FEGLI Federal Employees Group Life Insurance
FEIS The Fire Effects Information System (using the Way Back Machine and screen captures from 2005) is 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, now with the Dept of Homeland Security called the "Emergency Preparedness and Response Directorate"
FEMO Fire Effects Monitor
FEO Fire Equipment Operator on an engine, also called Engineer
FEPP Federal Excess Property Program, see links page to get there.
FERS Federal Employees Retirement System
FEWT Fire Equipment Working Team
FF or
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
FiSL The Fire Sciences Lab (FiSL), an arm of the Rocky Mountain Research Station located in Missoula, MT, is 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 --> SAI
In 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 mopup.
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 intent is to allow 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. If this program did not exist, local govt fire agencies and most state fire agencies would be VERY hesitant to commit resources and have no chance of re-imbursement. In CA, we have without a doubt the finest cooperative fire service in the world, supported by this very program.
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 FWFMP
A 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.
FNG for slang F*ing New Guy
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 used on this site several times, refers to Fire on the Mountain, a book about those who died on Storm King Mountain in Colorado in 1994 by John Maclean
FMAG Fire Management Assistance Grant. A fed assistance program managed by FEMA through the state Office of Emergency Services. This program is designed to help state and/or local jurisdictions impacted by high cost, high damage wildland fires.
FMP Fire Management Plan, a strategic plan that defines a program to manage wildland and prescribed fires and documents the Fire Management Program in the approved land use plan. The plan is supplemented by operational plans such as preparedness plans, preplanned dispatch plans, prescribed fire plans and prevention plans.
FMU Fire Management Unit
FNG F-ing New Guy, military term
FPA Fire Program Analysis, the new system that replaces NFMAS; came about because OPM said NFMAS was too expensive (2004). It's a political solution. NFMAS was 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.
FPA (again) Another loose meaning on theysaid: FPA has sometimes been used in discussions of a hypothetical Fire Protection Agency, as in National Fire Protection Agency, possibly comprised of FS, BLM, NPS, FWS, and BIA. Not yet established.
FPA Fire Program Analysis; wanna be alternative to NFMAS for planning (2004). Fire Program Analysis System using the Way Back Machine, August 07
FPD Fire Protection District
FPU Fire Planning Unit, the unit of organization on which FPA is based, also called a <unit geographic name> 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 BIA
Also, 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 FIRE’s Fire Resource Assessment Program
FRS Family Radio Service, a kind of radio
FS United States Forest Service, green engines (soon to be white!). See Links page. 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 Effed 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, see Links page under National Wildland Fire Training.
FUWT Fire Use Working Team under guidance from the National Interagency Fuels Coordination Group (NIFCG)
FVSC Fire Vehicle Standardization Committee, see theysaid 10/9/10
FWFMP Federal Wildland Fire Management Plan
FWFSA Federal Wildland Fire Service Association. FWFSA educating Congress, led by our intrepid 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, link: FWS
FWW Fire Weather Watch
FY Fiscal Year
FYI For Your Information


GA General Administrator
GACC Geographic Area Coordination Center. Check the links page for a list of GACCs. In the 1/24/99 post, Ab sez, "If ya don't know what a GACC is, you may be at the wrong web site."
GAO Government Accounting Office
GAP Wildland Fire Skills Gap Courses for Structural Firefighters. See theysaid 3/6/09
GFMC Global Fire Monitoring Center (See Links Page under World Wide)
GFS One of the two major Weather Prediction Models; the other is ECMWF; don't know what the letters stand for.
GHCC Global Hydrology and Climate Center (See Links Page)
GIF Graphics Interchange Format. An image file format
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: Server GOES (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.)
GPM Gallons Per Minute
GPS Global Positioning System: system 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
GRA "Group" Retention Incentives from OPM, 1/4/07 theysaid
GSA General Services Administration who 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, link: GSA
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. in GVW of crew buggies that determines the kind of driver's license required. Discussion starting 02/22/02
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. Load those crew bodies on then weigh...


HA Hazard Analysis, see also JHA = Job Hazard Analysis
HAZMAT Hazardous Material
HCM Human Capital Management (pdf download)
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 epartment 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 (see Documents Worth Reading, Hugh Carlson's and Misery Whip's posts.
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.
  • 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
HTT Hope that helps
HUU Humboldt-Del Norte Unit of CAL FIRE.


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.
IADP Initial Attack Dispatcher
IAFF International Association of Fire Fighters; discussion 3/26/09 theysaid
IAIC Initial attack Incident Commander: The incident commander at the time the first attack forces commence suppression work on a fire.
IAMS Some kind of aviation training, being replaced by ACE (Aviation conference in Education 2003).
IAP Incident Action Plan for a fire 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 (See Links Page)
ICT Incident Command Team, also called Incident Management Team (IMT)
ID Inside Diameter, a dimension as of a wheel or a pipe, etc; also
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, discussion on theysaid starting 3/14/09
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. The New Standards should be achieved by all by 10/1/09.
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. See the links page for the Type 1 and Type 2 IIMT links pages.
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.
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 Infra Red; a heat detection system used for fire protection, mapping, and hotspot identification
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. Don't know if they still call themselves that. They can no longer serve on incident management teams as regular team members. Ab.
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
I-Zone Interface zone same as Wildland Urban Interface


J### Job Aids related courses
JAC Joint Apprenticeship Committee
JFS Joint Fire Sciences Program, a six agency partnership to address wildland fuels issues. The six agencies, designated by the Congress, are the USDA Forest Service and five bureaus of the Department of the Interior: Bureau of Indian Affairs, Bureau of Land Management, National Park Service, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, and the U.S. Geological Survey.
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 "Job Hazard Analysis Guidelines" 1980 (rtf format)
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


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* 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. You can find information on these, the Watch Out Situations, and 10 Standard fire fighting orders at the following web site LCES
LCEES Lookouts, Communication, Escape routes, Evacuation mitigations, Safety zones. See the AAR on the Emergency Evacuation Lessons Learned relating to Dutch Creek Mitigation Measures. theysaid discussion 8/30/10.
LE Law Enforcement - generally used to refer to some action going on at the Incident.
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, See TS discussion 10/13-16/04
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 Kings radio than the GPH; it's just the beginning of a serial number
or model number on the radios, all hand-held.
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


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 is 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 is 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. Links page under education/training.
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, 1-5
C = 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. (theysaid 1/5/08)
MILF Mother I'd Like to <blankety blank> 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. See the fire-naming discussion starting 06/11/02 for the fire naming pitfalls to be avoided.
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 can mean the Master Mutual Aid Agreement (see 11/23/07 theysaid)
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; is 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
MREs Meals Rejected by Ethiopians ;) Or for those really wanting to know, a 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.
MVU Monte Vista Ranger Unit (San Diego Unit) of CAL FIRE, near San Diego, borders Mexico..


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 Institute A 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 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, for a list of all the national forests, go to the links page and look under Federal Pages at the "unit identifiers". Forests of CA are all listed with links to the forests. For the entire national list including national parks, BLM-administered lands, county, and city, etc unit identifiers, look at the longer pdf file available at the top of this page.
NFA National Fire Academy, see links page under National Wildland Fire Training.
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; with AFGE, could be supplanted by IAFF (primary AFL-CIO firefighter local) under Employee Free Choice Act; discussion 3/25/09 theysaid
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 (find them here: 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. The new NIMS is based of course on the NIIMS developed by wildfire, but will be administered not by the agencies and local governments that have the bulk of the knowledge and experience, but by a fairly small and understaffed agency (FEMA = tiny recovery oversight agency with around 1,200 full-time employees) that is not out there dealing with the largest number of emergencies in the country (fires, wildfires, and medical aids). See ts, 8/9/04
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 -- of the Forest Service, for example: 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
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
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, National Registry as in National Registry EMT (see theysaid 10/19/04)
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 EMT (Emergency Medical Technician) see theysaid discussion starting 10/19/04
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
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 Redcard 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)


OAS Office of Aircraft Services (See Links Page)
OC Organized Crew, the emergency hire crew programs, also could be On Call
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; OC= Orange County
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. See the Links page.
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 Now CAL EMA, formerly Office of Emergency Services,
OF162 OF 162 form for employment in fire, see post 12/15/98
OF510 OF 510 form for employment in fire, see post 12/15/98
OF612 OF 612 form for employment in fire, see post 12/15/98
OFCA Oregon Fire Contractors Association
OGC Office of General Council
OH Overhead
OIG Office of Inspector General
OJT On the job training for redcard 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 Office of Special Counsel or
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.
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 the National Association of Letter Carriers.


P to P 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 & PAR Personnel Accountability. The ability to account for the location and status of personnel.
Personnel Accountability Reports (PAR) . ICS term. Periodic reports verifying the status of responders assigned to an incident.
PAHs Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons
PAL Project Activity Level
PAO Public Affairs Officer
PAR Precision Approach Radar: 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 Federal method of paying bills, if you don't know what it is, you're lucky
PD Position Description, each job position has one describing the duties and responsibilities.
PDA Personal Digital Assistant - little handheld computer/personal organizer, has date book, address book, task list, memo.
or from familysaid - Public Display of Affection
PDT Pacific Daylight Time
PERS Public Employees Retirement System that California State Employees Assoc (CSEA) members belong to.
PFA Preliminary Fuels Analysis
PFIRS Prescribed Fire Info Reporting System
PFA Preliminary Fuels Analysis
PFT Permanent Full Time, as in an employees work status (26/0); see also WAE (18/8 and 13/13).
PFTC National Interagency Rx Fire Training Center, yeah, we know it doesn't make sense, but that's it; see the links page under wildland fire training.
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
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, not one of the Spice Girls!
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
PRC Public Resources Code (of the State of California) Discussed 06/03 in relation to CDF airbase and lookout closures.
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 button cover on a handheld radio.
PVO Private Voluntary Organization (NIMS)
PWP Project Work Plans
pyrocumulus (pyroCu) and pyrocumulonimbus (pyroCb); for further explanation, see this hotlist thread on column building from the vantage point of space.
PWAC Person Without A Clue


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.


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 Region 8 '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
RFMF Rear Eschalon 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.
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). From theysaid 12/13/04 Misery Whip's post
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 or Rx Prescribed, as in burn


S### The S or skills class series in fire behavior. See the note at the end of this list on course prefixes and/or go to the NWCG training website.
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 Communiqué for aviation: SAFECOM same as SAFENET but for aviation.
SAFENET Safety Communiqué 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 -- for example for the PNW -- 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
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 Louis 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 -- or if you're reading familysaid, Significant Other; Safety Officer (NIMS)
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
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 -CDF Fire- as opposed to the Feds or the County.
SRB Slang for Single Resource Boss; for the correct redcard acronym, see the redcard mnemonics link at the top of the page.
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 (see Sting's 3/18/01 post)
SWS Static Water Supply, the designation of pools, spas and other sources of water for fighting fire used in Australia. For a description see Aussie CFU's post of 5/15/02.
STL(D) Strike team leader, sometimes the D is included. For the correct redcard acronym, see the redcard mnemonics link at the top of the page.
SWCC Southwest Coordination Center (see GACC)
SWFRS Sierra Wildland Fire Reporting System
SWFF South West Fire Fighters


T&E Threatened and Endangered (Species)
TAC Tactical channels, several frequencies which are generally pretty close to each other, but seperate; our forest uses 168.200 and there are more, I think, generally running in variances of .100 or so mhz.
TARMS Tactical Aviation Research Management
TCU Tuolumne-Calaveras Unit of CAL FIRE.
TES Threatened and Endangered Species
TFLD Task Force Leader. For the correct redcard acronym, see the redcard mnemonics link at the top of the page.
TFM Technical Fire Management, see links page under National Wildland Fire Training.
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. See the Links Page for this and other state fire organizations.
TGU Tehama Glenn Unit of CAL FIRE.
TL Timelag
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, as in moving to a new "duty station" part-and-parcel of accepting a new job.
TNC The Nature Conservancy, a non-governmental organization or NGO
TNF Tahoe National Forest unit identifier.
TPP Thermal Protective Performance, a rating for PPE
TR Teddy Roosevelt, not a standard acronym!
TRPA Tahoe Regional Planning Agency, mentioned following the Angora Fire '07.
TS TheySaid
TSI Timber Stand Improvement
TTFN Ta Ta For Now
TTO Tank Truck Operator, old nomenclature for FEO, now called Engineers, all are assistant foremen on an engine.
TUU Tulare Unit of CAL FIRE.
TWP Township
TWT Training Working Team of the NWCG


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", possible new technology for fighting fire
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-FM 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, the machine name, the directory path and the file name. For example: http://www.webhead.
UTL Unable to locate
US&R or
Urban Search and Rescue (FEMA)
USDA United States Department of Agriculture
USFA United States Fire Administration
USFS United States Forest Service, "green engines", Department of Agriculture. USFS
UTF Unable to Fill, as in resource order requests for large fire support.
UXO Unexploded ordinance; most likely on military bases.


VFA The Volunteer 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 or radio frequency VHF-AM for ex.
VIP Volunteers in Prevention, CDF volunteers called in to help in emergency situations. Also "very important person."
VLAT Very Large Air Tanker
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.


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, acronym for
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.


YNP Yosemite National Park unit identifier
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.

Course prefixes the S course stands for skills, the I course stands for the ICS-related courses, D for dispatch, RX for prescribed fire, and J for Job Aids courses. See NWCG's certification and training regulations at NWCG Qualification Documents (PMS 310-1)

Starter, Repeater, and Tactical preceded by four numbers – all refer to portable radio kits.
Type - 1, 2, 2-IA, and 3 – Various resources are “typed” and refers to the capability or configuration of the resource.

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