Contribute to the management of forest and moorland fire fighting

Business Sectors (Suites): Treework
Developed by: Lantra
Approved on: 01 Feb 2017


This standard is about contributing to the management of forest and moorland fire fighting. This is aimed at those who work in forestry, farming, game or environmental conservation on either a full- or part-time basis.

This standard includes:

  • contributing to the development of fire plans and fire maps
  • contributing to the practical requirements associated with the safe fire fighting of forest and moorland operations
  • supervising individuals and teams in support of forest and moorland fire fighting operations
  • evaluating the effectiveness of fire fighting activities.

Your work must conform to all relevant legislation and codes of practice when carrying out this work.

Performance criteria

You must be able to:

  1. assess vegetation fire hazards and fire risks in order to inform fire management planning
  2. ensure that the appropriate personal protective equipment (PPE) is used
  3. contribute to the development of forest and moorland fire plans and maps
  4. liaise and communicate with relevant people to confirm the proposed fire plan contribute to the preparation of checklists of the fire fighting resources available
  5. contribute to the establishment and management of fire fighting contingencies
  6. collect and confirm information relating to the known and anticipated risks to people, property and the environment
  7. develop your objectives through risk assessment
  8. contribute to determining the initial action taking into account the available resources, using a realistic assessment of their suitability for operational use
  9. develop initial attack plans that provide sufficient flexibility to meet the known and anticipated needs of the incident in accordance with the LACES (Lookouts, Awareness, Communications, Escape routes and Safety Zones) safety system

  10. make the appropriate adjustments to your fire and attack plans, based on the initial assessments of incidents

  11. confirm your objectives and deploy your resources to meet priority needs
  12. ensure that your decisions continue to minimise risk and maximise progress towards your objectives
  13. redeploy your resources to meet the changing priorities of incidents
  14. actively seek information to update fire and attack plans and progress action to meet your objectives
  15. operate within the agreed level of your responsibility and authority
  16. ensure that your role and responsibilities relating to incidents are clear and understood by others
  17. confirm the final status of incidents and agree any further action with the relevant people
  18. identify any unresolved risks and hazards and take action to minimise these, within operational constraints
  19. make your fire fighting resources available for redeployment at the earliest opportunity
  20. evaluate and report on the effectiveness of fire fighting operations
  21. maintain the health and safety of yourself and others at all times, in accordance with relevant legislation

Knowledge and Understanding

You need to know and understand:

  1. how to use fire risk assessment techniques and systems to assess the hazards and risks of vegetation fires affecting people and the environment
  2. how to make and apply decisions based on the assessment of risk
  3. how to apply practices that maximise the health, safety and welfare of yourself and others in the workplace
  4. the importance of using the correct personal protective equipment (PPE)
  5. the purpose of and how to interpret forest or moorland fire plans, maps, symbols and other company and industry good practice
  6. your own role in planning and contributing to fire fighting plans and the importance of following the LACES (Lookouts, Awareness, Communications, Escape routes and Safety Zones)safety system
  7. the role and selection of anchor points
  8. how to contribute to the initial attack planning for the following types of fire: heather or shrub fire, grass fire, lop and top fire, forest fire
  9. the fire fighting resources available within the organisation, the specialist fire and rescue services equipment, and the fire group (locality)
  10. the role of the fire and rescue service, land managers and fire groups and how to identify and communicate with the incident commander
  11. how to access, interpret and provide relevant information, including feedback
  12. the information on your team required by the fire and rescue service on arrival at the fireground
  13. the importance of clear and effective communication with those involved in the operation
  14. how to solve problems, make decisions and plan for contingencies when managing forest and moorland fire fighting
  15. how weather, fuels and topography affect the spread, intensity and nature of fires
  16. the operations likely to occur in the three phases of fire fighting: knockdown, containment, mop up and patrol
  17. which of the three main fire fighting strategies to choose in different fire situations: direct attack, indirect attack and flanking attack
  18. the importance of key fire information for resource planning
  19. the capabilities and limitations of personal and operational equipment
  20. the role of helicopters in fighting forest and moorland fires
  21. the potential impact of forest and moorland fire fighting activities on the environment
  22. your responsibilities under relevant environmental and health and safety legislation and codes of practice


Scope Performance

Assess the potential fire hazards and fire risks in terms of:

  • fuels
  • slopes
  • potential ignition sources
  • history of fires
  • water sources
  • existing and potential firebreaks
  • assets needing protection
  • anchor points

Contribute to establishing contingencies to deal with:

  • changes in weather/ fire behaviour
  • breaches of the control line
  • accidents
  • problems with equipment

Scope Knowledge





Fire behaviour: the manner in which fire reacts to the variables of fuel, weather and topography described in terms of fire intensity and rate of spread

Topography: shape of the land, especially slope and aspect

Fire weather: predicted climatic conditions covering period of burn, especially wind, air temperature and relative humidity

Fuels: the type, quantity, arrangement, distribution, and moisture content of the vegetation. Can be: ground (peat), surface (heather and litter layer) or aerial (trees) fuels

Fire type: ground fire, surface fire or crown fire; most common type is surface fire

Fire intensity: the pulse or rate of energy release, that travels upwards from the fire

Head: the front of the fire showing the greatest rate of spread

Heel: the rear of the fire near the origin

Flank: the sides of the fire

Control line: all constructed or natural barriers and treated fire edges used to control a fire

Direct attack: fire suppression activity directly on the fire

Indirect attack: fire suppression activity away from the fire edge, e.g. backburning

Flanking attack: most common direct attack strategy, that starts suppression activity from heel round flanks to head

Fire Support Office: Forest District Office, Estate Office or company office where logistic support for fire suppression effort is organised

Wildfire: a fire that is not being controlled

Fire hazard: the potential exposure of people or assets to danger from the behaviour of the fire

Fire risk: the potential for a fire to start

LACES: Lookouts, Awareness, Communications, Escape routes and Safety Zones. The aim of the LACES system is to avoid entrapment.

Anchor point – An advantageous location from which a fireline can be constructed, usually free from fuels, where the possibility of being flanked by a fire is minimised

Links To Other NOS

External Links

Version Number


Indicative Review Date

31 Jan 2021





Originating Organisation


Original URN


Relevant Occupations


SOC Code



fire; forest; moorland; treework; wood; tree