AED Automated External Defibrillator

AMR American Medical Response

ARC HQ American Red Cross Headquarters

ASTREA Aerial Support To Regional Enforcement Agencies

BDCPEP Barrett/Dulzura Community Protection Plan

BLM Bureau of Land Management

CALCORD California Coordination

CDF California Department of Forestry

CERT Community Emergency Response Team

CLMCPEP Campo/Lake Morena Community Protection and Evacuation Plan

CPR Cardio-Pulmonary Resuscitation

CZRY Carrizo Gorge Railroad

DAT Disaster Action Team

DCCS Disaster Center Command System

DCDC Dulzura Community Development Committee

EAS Emergency Alert System

EOC Emergency Operations Center

EPA Environmental Protection Agency

EPC Emergency Preparedness Coordinator

ETA Estimated Time of Arrival

FEMA Federal Emergency Management Agency

GPS Global Positioning System

IA Initial Attack

IC Incident Commander

ICS Incident Command System

OES Office of Emergency Services

PSRM Pacific Southwest Railway Museum

RACES Radio Amateur Civilian Emergency Services

RCS Regional Communication System

SCA Student Conservation Association

SEMS Standardized Emergency Management System

TAC Tactical

UHF Ultra High Frequency

USFS United States Forest Service

VHF Very High Frequency


Active crown fire—A wildfire that's burning as a solid flame in the crowns or tops, of trees.

Air attack—The deployment of aircraft (helicopter or air tankers) with the purpose of dropping retardant or water on a wildfire and/or transporting crews and supplies.

Air tanker—A fixed-wing aircraft equipped to drop fire retardant.

Attack line—A line of fire hose ready for use.

Backburn—A fire set along the inner edge of a fire line to consume the fuel between the fire line and the oncoming wildfire.

Backfire—A firefighting strategy whereby a fire is set along the inner edge of a fireline to consume the fuel in the path of a wildfire and/or change the direction of the fire's convection column. This tricky maneuver is done in the hopes of eliminating fuel in the path of a larger fire, thereby slowing or stopping the wildfire's progress.

Box Canyon—A steep-sided canyon with only one way in and out.

Burning Conditions—Environmental factors, such as fuel and weather, that affect fire behavior.

Campfire—A term often used to classify a cause of a wildfire.

Containment—The point in which a fuel break or fireline around the wildfire has been completed. The wildfire may still be burning within that perimeter and would therefore not yet be "controlled."

Controlled Fire—When a wildfire is completely extinguished, including spot fires, it is considered under control.

Critical Incident—A fatality or other event that can have serious long-term adverse effects on an agency, its employees and their families, or a community.

Crown Fire (Crowning)—The movement of wildfire through the tops of trees essentially independent of fuels on the ground.

Debris Burning—Typically any fire set for the purpose of clearing land or burning garbage.

Emergency Operations Center (EOC)—Pre-designated facilities at which overall agency or jurisdictional response and support can be found.

Escaped Fire—A fire that has exceeded, or is expected to exceed, initial attack efforts.

Firebreak—A natural or constructed barrier used to stop or check a wildfire's spread or to provide a control line from which to work.

Fire Front—The part of a wildfire within which continuous flaming is taking place. The fire front is usually assumed to be the leading edge of the wildfire perimeter.

Fireline—A linear fie barrier that is scraped or dug into mineral soil by hand crews or dozers.

Fire Retardant—Any substance, besides water, used to reduce flammability of fuels or slow the rate of combustion.

Fire Storm—A violent and intense wildfire. Often characterized by intense in-drafts and winds.

Fire Whirl—Spinning column of ascending hot air and gases rising from a fire and carrying aloft smoke, debris and flame. Fire whirls range in size from less than one foot to more than 500 feet in diameter.

Flanks of a fire—The perimeter of a wildfire roughly parallel to the main direction of spread.

Flare-up—Any sudden acceleration of wildfire spread or intensification. Unlike a blowup, a flare-up lasts a relatively short time and does not radically change fire-management plans.

Greenbelt—A regularly maintained fuel break.

Head Fire—A wildfire that's spread by the wind.

Head of a Fire—The portion of a wildfire having the fastest rate of spread.

Hose Lay—Arrangement of connected lengths of fire hose beginning at the first pumping unit and ending at the point of water delivery.

Hotspot—An active part of a wildfire.

Incident Commander—Individual responsible for overseeing the management of all operations.

Initial attack—The actions taken by the first resources to arrive at a wildfire. Usually these actions focus on protecting lives and property and attempt to prevent further expansion of the wildfire.

Mop up—Procedure for making a wildfire safe—or reducing residual smoke after the fire has been controlled—by extinguishing or removing burning material along or near the control line; felling snags and moving smoldering logs so they won't roll downhill.

Operations Section—The section responsible for all tactical operations.

Parallel Attack—A suppression method in which a fireline is constructed parallel to the wildfire, but away from the wildfire's edge. Often the unburned fuel between the line and the wildfire is burned out.

Plume—Typically a large convection column of smoke born from the wildfire and rising into the atmosphere.

Rate of Spread—The speed at which a wildfire is growing in size. It is expressed as rate of increase of the total perimeter of the wildfire, as rate of forward spread of the wildfire front or as rate of increase in area, depending on the intended use of the information. Usually, it is expressed in chains or acres per hour for a specific period in the wildfire's history.

Red Flag Warning—An alert from fire weather forecasters of an ongoing or imminent critical wildfire weather pattern.

Run of a Fire—The rapid advance of the head of a wildfire with a significant change in fireline intensity and rate of spread.

Safety Zone—An area cleared of flammable materials to be used for escape in the event the line is outflanked by wildfire or in case a spot fire causes fuels outside the control line to render the line unsafe.

Size Class of Wildfire—Class A: ¼ acre or less, Class B: ¼ to less than 10 acres, Class C: 10 acres to less than 100 acres, Class D: 100 acres to less than 300 acres, Class E: 300 acres to less than 1,000 acres, Class F: 1,000 acres to less than 5,000 acres, Class G: 5,000 acres or more.

Size up—To evaluate a wildfire so as to determine a course of action for fire suppression.

Spot Fire—A fire ignited outside the perimeter of the main wildfire by flying sparks or embers.

Squall Line—A narrow band of thunderstorms that are not part of a well-defined frontal system (like a cold front), and that can generate intense weather nonetheless.

Surface Fuels—Loose fuel on the surface, normally fallen leaves or needles, twigs, cones and small branches that have not yet decayed enough to lose their flammability.

Type—Type 1 usually means a greater capability due to power, size or capacity.

Unified Area Command—An area command that's multi-jurisdictional.

Unified Command—A team effort by a variety of agencies with jurisdictional responsibilities regarding the wildfire threat.

Wind Shift—A change in wind direction that usually signals unstable or changing weather.