1 - PROGRAM SUMMARY
The purpose of this handbook is to: (1) identify
organizational practices and management policies, and (2)
specify requirements on safe procedures and equipment to
insure the successful prevention and control of wildland
This handbook presents fundamental information for the
control of wildland fire burning in vegetative fuels. It
includes necessary useful information on safe procedures,
practices, organization and management, as well as other
topics that are essential for the safe and successful
prevention and control of wildland fires, as authorized
under Chapter 185 (Land Fire Protection Law, Hawaii Revised
Wildland Fire Management Program
A major responsibility for every Branch is to keep
the community informed on the need for sound fire
protection. Prevention of wildfire is a continuous effort.
Fire is an ever present danger, and, to be effective, fire
prevention must be constantly practiced. Each fire
prevention program should analyze the common cause of fire,
identify fire hazards and risks existing in the protection
area, and propose measures to reduce the threats of fire and
fire damage. Branch fire prevention strategies shall include
A. Public Education
1. Smokey Bear material/fire prevention radio
and TV spots.
2. Talks to schools, civic organizations, etc.
3. Public notices/news releases declaring high fire
4. Posting of fire prevention/high fire danger warning
signs and posters.
B. Hazardous Fuels
1. Identify areas with potentially hazardous
2. Reduction of "flash" fuels in high use areas.
3. Conversion of " flashy" fuels in high use areas.
C. Land Use Control
1. Appropriate restriction of the general public
use within a fire hazard.
2. Encourage land use that reduces fire dangers.
3. Require fire plans for all appropriate land use
activities within the Branch's areas
All personnel shall receive training in first aid,
fireline safety, fire behavior and techniques and methods of
wildland fire suppression. This shall include periodic
hands-on training with hand tools and equipment, as well as
crew and fireline organization. Supervisors and fire
management personnel need special training in fire control
tactics to insure their competence when directing fire
suppression operations. Joint training with other
cooperators shall be encouraged. This will be attained by
the DOFAW Fire Management Core Group (FMCG), Branch, and
other training agencies:
- (1) DOFAW FMCG - will be responsible for providing
annual training in all aspects of wildland
- (2) Branch - will be responsible for maintaining all
health and safety requirements, and for providing
supplemental and specialized fire training for all Branch
- (3) Other Agencies - reciprocal training between
DOFAW and other agencies is encouraged.
B. Pre-attack Planning and Construction
Pre-attack planning is required at Administrative
Staff and Branch levels for the gathering, coordinating and
recording of intelligence, as well as the construction of
certain fire control facilities, to insure the rapid and
efficient suppression of fire on any given area. Pre-attack
planning will include:
(1) Administrative staff - coordinate/provide
communications, logistics, and other administrative
(2) Branch - pre-attack plan will include the
following for each management unit:
- Assess and map existing facilities, topographic
attributes, firelines and access route, which are
judged to be important to the successful control of
- Identify and propose additional facilities,
firelines, and other aids to fire control, including
- An estimate of personnel, equipment, and other
factors needed including other agency cooperators that
will provide for safe and efficient fire control.
- Identify natural and physical resources of special
- Construct and maintain new lines and facilities
according to plan, by priority, as funds and time
- Keep pre-attack plans current to annual field
checks and revisions.
C. Equipment and Material Readiness
1. Administrative Staff
a. Will acquire, account for, and maintain
specialized equipment and material used in support of
DOFAW fire control activities, i.e. telecom. and computer
b. Will coordinate/provide support in the acquisition,
accountability, and maintenance of equipment and material
used in support of Branch fire control activities.
a. Will maintain firefighting equipment and
material in safe condition and state of readiness.
b. Will maintain an adequate inventory of equipment
and material to supply a 50-man fire cache.
c. Will maintain a current listing of aircraft and
heavy equipment resources by vendors, location, contact
person, telephone numbers and other pertinent information
that will help to determine availability and criteria for
d. Will maintain a current listing of vendors
providing lodging, meals, and supplies and services
necessary for support of fire suppression.
1. The DOFAW Administrator shall be responsible
for coordinating the work of Branch Managers and
reviewing their plans for fire protection and control.
The Manager of each DOFAW branch shall be in charge of
planning, coordinating, and executing wildland fire
protection and control coming within the meaning of fires
in Chapter 185, Hawaii Revised Statutes.
2. Command and Control - The Incident Command System
command control structure will be used for safe and
efficient conduct of all suppression activities. A
chain-of-command will be established on every incident
that designates each DOFAW employee's job and immediate
1. Branch Level - Respond with
Branch resources and mutual aid cooperators in accordance
with the pre-attack plan for the respective management
unit(s). The incident commander is responsible for all
activities and operations on the fire. He may delegate
more responsibility to assistants as organizational needs
grow, but he is always the final authority and bears
2. Project Level - Branch requests
for additional manpower and equipment through the DOFAW
Administrator or his designate. The State Protection
Forester (SPF) will subsequently coordinate mobilization
of additional resources. The requesting Branch is
responsible for the administrative/logistical support and
tactical deployment of off-island resources from time of
arrival to departure.
C . Demobilization
(1) Completion of all reports related to the
(2) Repair and maintenance of all equipment used on
the fire and replacement of items rendered unserviceable
(3) Debriefing and critique will be conducted as
appropriate. Important items of information gained will
be incorporated in the final fire report.
SECTION 2 - PROGRAM
The safety and welfare of fire fighting personnel
shall be the primary consideration in all fire suppression
operations and decisions.
2.2 Personal Protective
Equipment The Administrator shall require that
protective clothing and equipment be worn by all Division
personnel while engaged in any fire fighting activity.
A. Basic Requirements
- Forest Service field pack (yellow) or
- Canteens (2 ea.) filled with potable water
- Individual first aid kit
- Ear plugs
- Dust mask or equivalent
- Headlamp with batteries
- Fire shelter
- Hardhat with chin strap
- Leather gloves
- 8-inch leather lace type safety boots
- Nomex fire shirts (2 minimum)
- Nomex or cotton jeans (2 minimum)
B. Special Requirements
As applicable for particular equipment/jobs:
- Chainsaw chaps
- Colored vests
- Ear protective devices
- Waterproof/Rubber gloves
A. Physical Examination
Prospective members of the Division shall
undergo and pass a physical examination before admission
to the Division as an active member. The attending
physician shall certify the applicant's physical ability
to perform fire fighting duties.
B. Physical Fitness
Fire fighting requires fast action, sustained
effort, and greater energy output than most other work.
Physical fitness for fire line and other regular duties
should be closely monitored to insure that employees are
at low risk for personal injury. Use of an equivalent
procedure, such as the "Step Test" or other National
Wildfire Coordinating Group approved evaluation method,
can help to minimize health and industrial risk.
2.4 First Aid/Medical
Treatment & Safety Training
Except in cases of very minor injuries or
ailments, all injured fire fighters shall be given prompt
and appropriate treatment by evacuation to a physician or
hospital. Injured personnel shall not be permitted to
participate on a fire except in the case of very minor
injuries or ailments. Minor injuries shall be
treated by use of individual or crew sized first aid
B. Safety Training
To ensure personnel safety, every fire fighter
shall be trained in basic first aid and cardiopulmonary
A. All fire vehicles shall have current motor
vehicle safety inspections for suppression use.
B. Specific safety operations for fire vehicles are:
- Fire vehicles shall be equipped with seat belts
and chock blocks. All personnel shall use seat belts
whenever the vehicle is in motion. Chock blocks shall
be set at the rear wheel whenever the vehicle is
- Personnel shall not jump on or from a moving
- A signal person shall be used whenever a vehicle
is moved in reverse.
- Fire crew members shall be trained and familiar
with the apparatus that they use.
- Vehicles on the fire line shall be parked so they
face in the direction of the escape route and in
location as safe as practical away from flammable
- Fire vehicles shall be driven and operated only by
rained personnel. It shall be driven in safe and
rational manner. All applicable laws and regulations
regarding the response of emergency vehicles shall be
Tractors and Bulldozers
A. Tractors and bulldozers are inherently
dangerous to fire fighters because of their loud noise
generation and large size. Personnel operating in and
around this category of equipment need to be aware of the
B. Specific safe operations for tractors and
C. Tractors and bulldozers shall be operated by
D. Fire fighters shall not work directly in front of,
or behind tractors or bulldozers as they may slide
beneath the machine or be struck by falling or rolling
E. Fire fighters shall not approach a tractor or
bulldozer until it has sopped and the operator has
signaled it is safe to approach.
F. Fire fighters shall not get on or off moving
G . Fire fighters shall not sit or bed down near
or under a tractor or bulldozer.
2.7 Hand Tools
Chainsaws are dangerous equipment and shall be
operated only by trained and experienced personnel.
Specific safe chainsaw use procedures include:
1. Chainsaw operators shall wear safety hard
hats, chainsaw protective chaps, ear and eye protection,
2. The chainsaw motor shall be stopped whenever a saw
is to be carried more than ten feet or over unstable or
3. The chainsaw shall be stopped for all cleaning,
adjustments, and repairs.
4. The motor shall be stopped and the exhaust allowed
to cool prior to refueling. Refueling shall be done on
bare ground and spilled fuel wiped off the motor. The saw
shall not be started within ten feet of the refueling
5. Whenever using a chainsaw, there shall be either a
portable fire extinguisher, or a backpack pump filled
with water, or a shovel for extinguishing fires that may
be started by the saw.
B. Other Hand Tools
All tools other than chainsaws; e.g. shovel,
pulaski, McCleod, machete, axe, etc.; are the basic
implements of the wildland fire fighter. Guidelines for
maintenance and safe use of hand tools are as follows:
1. Hand tools shall be maintained in good
condition, with tight handles, properly sharpened, and
all sharp edges guarded or sheathed when not in use.
2. Hand tools are not to be carried on the shoulder.
Hand tools shall be carried by the balance point on the
downhill side with the cutting edge away from the body. A
distance of at least 6 feet shall be maintained between
individuals when carrying hand tools. When using tools, a
distance of at least 10 feet shall be maintained between
individuals. Except in an emergency, fire fighters shall
not run while carrying hand tools.
If the Division has the occasion to work with
aircraft in fire fighting mode, members shall be trained
in safety procedures regarding fixed-wing and rotary-wing
Refer to Air Operations sections in the Presuppression
and Suppression Chapters for additional details on safety
The fire prevention efforts of the Division will:
- A. Ensure the cost-efficient reduction of wildfire
suppression costs by reducing the number of preventable
- B. Produce the most efficient and cost effective fire
prevention programs, by coordinating these activities
with local fire agencies.
- C. Organize available resources to maximum fire
The Division's fire protection activities are designed
to prevent ignition of unwanted fires and to minimize loss
if fire does occur. Such activities, including public
education, personal contact, law enforcement, engineering,
and reduction of fuel hazards, are directed at reducing or
eliminating the number of fires that start. The Division's
fire prevention program will take shape in the following
- Analysis of Fires
- Fire Prevention Planning
- Fire Prevention Training
- Fire Prevention Education
- Fire Prevention Engineering
- Law Enforcement in Fire Prevention
Fire prevention analysis is based on (1)
human-caused fire occurrence and (2) existing risk and
hazards. Basic factors to consider are:
- What causes or could cause fires
- Where fires occur
- When fires occur
- Why fires start
- How fires start
- Who starts fires
Maps and records maintained in a fire atlas should
furnish most of the facts needed to develop fire prevention
plans. Fire prevention plans will be base on information
categorized as follows:
- Analysis of fires
- Fire occurrence maps
- Fire prevention risk identification
- Use patterns
- Weather factors
- Damage potential
- Evaluation techniques
Fire Prevention Planning
Fire prevention planning is an activity that many fire
managers, including ire prevention specialists, consider a
low priority. Many fire managers have been discouraged by
their fire plans because of poor results. But does the
planning process stopo in other functional areas because of
poor results. Usually it is just opposite; fire prevention
should be no different.
A well thought-out, comprehensive prevention plan
produces consistently higher quality results that meet
agency objectives. NWCG Handbook - Wildfire Prevention
Handbook shall be used as a guide for prevention
Fire Prevention Training
Fire Prevention training standards and programs
are essential to develop effective personnel performance
toward meeting fire prevention objectives.
TRAINING STANDARDS. Fire prevention
needs to be performed by adequately trained people who know
what to do and how to do it. Annually, each Branch
Protection Forester shall (1) analyze capabilities and
training needs of personnel assigned to prevention week, and
(2) plan for and request the training required. Refer to the
National Wildfire Coordinating Group publication Job
Performance Analysis Wildfire Prevention for assistance.
Fire Prevention Education
Fire prevention education involves the dissemination of
information and education through a variety of means. These
means may include written material, personal, group, and
media contacts, cooperative work with other fire service
agencies, and displays and exhibits at community gatherings
- Group contacts
- Media contacts
- Cooperative forest fire prevention
- Fire prevention signs
- Fire prevention literature
- Show-me tips
Fire Prevention Engineering
Fire prevention engineering is the process of
reducing risks and hazards by shielding or removing heat
sources from fuels.
Environment is defined as the sum total, or the whole, of
conditions, influences, or things surrounding an object or
situation. Fire prevention engineering makes it possible to
alter an environment by using one or more of the following
- Remove the heat source from the fuel.
- Reduce or eliminate the fuels where the heat source
- Shield the fuel from the heat source to prevent
A meaningful fire prevention engineering program will
- Fire prevention inspections or programs.
- Structure and improvement inspections.
- Equipment design and modification
- Inspections of construction operations in the
- Recreation area management and inspections.
- Proper right-of-way clearance.
- Proper management and formal inspections of rubbish
dumps and landfills.
- Hazard reduction through fuel management.
Law enforcement is one of many tools used in fire
prevention. It is based on federal law, agency regulations,
state fire laws, and local fire ordinances.
Laws regulate conduct and protect both the individual using
forest lands and forest resources. Just as there are laws to
protect individuals, there are laws to protect the public
forests from negligent or illegal acts.
- Enforcement of fire laws
- Applicable laws and ordinances
- Fire investigation
- Permits and fire plans
- Closures and restrictions
- Rewards in connection with fire prosecution
The Division shall develop and maintain a wildland fire
presuppression system commensurate with resources
Presuppression is the function of preparing for
fire suppression. As a minimum, the following activities are
- Training/Certification and Qualification
- Mobilization Planning
- Pre-attack Planning
- Manning and Personal Preparedness
- Air Operations
- Logistical Services
- Federal Excess Personal Property (FEPP)
- A. Training Goal
Every Division employee who participates in fire
suppression shall receive formal wildland fire training
for the task assigned. This is to insure individual's
safety and incident organization effectiveness.
B. Training Program
Branch Managers shall determine training
curriculums and schedules for their branches based on
their respective fire suppression organization needs. The
division uses the National Wildfire Coordinating Group's
(NWCG) qualification guidelines to meet these
Every employee involved in division suppression
activities are required to have the formal Basic Wildland
Fire Training course as a foundation for subsequent
formal fire training.
C. Frequency of Training
The Staff Protection Forester and each Branch
Protection Forester comprise the Division's Fire
Management Core Group (FMCG).
For the sake of state wide uniformity, the FMCG, and/or
cooperating agency's training specialty staff, shall be
responsible for training of the Division's employees
annually to meet the Branch Managers stated training
Fire suppression training issues, and other
appropriate subjects may be integrated during monthly
branch safety meetings.
3. Certification and Qualifications
The purpose of this Certification and
Qualification program are:
- To insure individuals' safety
- To insure organizational effectiveness, and
- To insure that qualified individuals are also
available to fill incident positions.
The FMCG establishes position criteria and
qualifications for incident positions with annual
reviews. The Administrator will have final approval
authority on committee recommendations. In its criteria
evaluations, this committee will consider the criteria in
use by other fire and disaster agencies. The committee
will examine other criteria in use for possible adoption
by the Division.
4. Needs unique to the Division
For personnel evaluations, the committee will
- Fire experience. In an evaluation of
past incident responsibility, the committee must match
past experience to the closest current position criteria.
As a part of the matching process, the individual's
highest position on at least two major incidents will be
- Major incidents are defined as situations involving
large scale organizations, complex or multi-incidents,
different disaster-type incidents, or long term
- Training. Past training, and it
compliance with current NWCG courses are considered.
Course work taken in the past five years will be
- Fire organization needs. An
individual will be considered and qualified for as many
positions as possible, to lend versatility and balance to
- A listing of personnel qualified to assume incident
command system positions. Refer to Section 4.2.4 -
Manning and Personal Preparedness.
- The locations, inventories, and special instructions
of all fire caches, vehicles and equipment staged for
- A listing of agencies and organizations that we have
formal cooperative agreements with; and agencies and
organizations that support the Division without formal
- A directory of vendors that provide logistical
support and resources.
- An itemization of branch fire administrative matters,
i.e. organization, authorities, and administrative
- Branch procedures to obtain assistance from the
Division and other agencies (ref. Fire reporting
- a survey of all existing facilities, topographic
features, firelines, access routes, and other items
judged to be important to the successful control of the
- Map of items surveyed, using a standard system, set
of symbols, sign color, and established design.
- Plan and propose additional facilities, fuel breaks,
firelines, and other aids to fire suppression including
type of maintenance required.
- Estimate the number of men, equipment, and time
needed to construct planned lines, travel times, fire
camp capacities, and other facts that will help make
control of the fire faster and more efficient.
- Catalog all of the above physical and factual
information, process, and issue in a form suitable for
Branch use in fire suppression.
- Construct and maintain new lines and facilities
according to plan as funds and time permit.
- Incorporate the ideas and needs of all Branch
resource functions into the planning.
- Update the pre-attack plan prior to fire season.
Manning and Personal Preparedness
This refers to the staffing of incident command
system positions, conditioning and equipping of incident
personnel. The organization at any incident will follow
guidelines and principles as used in the ICS. Qualified
personnel will have enough personal and official gear to
allow them to respond to a fire and to stay on an
incident for at least five days. Overnight personal gear
is the responsibility of the individual. The list of
necessary equipment are as follows:
A) Fire Suppression Gear - see Chapter 2.2.A
B) Overnight Personal Gear
- Forest Service travel bag (red) or equal
- Personal clothing for five (5) days
- Toilet articles to include towels
- Personal medication
C) Crew Leader Additional Equipment
- Portable radio with leather case,
- Spare battery - rapid charge type
- Whip antennae (s)
- Pencil and tablet
In the event that crews are mobilized to another
island, it will be the responsibility of the host Branch
to request needed support items from the traveling crews
(tool cache items, sleeping bags, etc.).
DOFAW shall have air safety as the highest concern in
air operations. All pilots and aircraft will be qualified
for the various fire missions required by DOFAW. Specific
operational guidelines are described in Chapter 5.0 -
Good communications is the key to safe and efficient
command and control, deployment of tactical resources,
and logistical support for any incident management. It is
therefore imperative that consideration and planning
include all means of communications to help emergency
response teams cope with any incident.
Radio use is as per Divisional guidelines and
policies. As a minimum, a communications plan should be
developed for each incident and should employ the
following frequency assignment as the situation becomes
- TAC 3 - Incident Tactical Operations
- TAC 2 - Incident Command and General Staff
- TAC 1 - Incident Security
- Green Frequency(s) - DLNR Administrative use
(Incident to Administrator)
Mobilization dispatching will take precedence over all
other telecommunications traffic, with the exception of
other traffic declared to be of an emergency nature
(threatening to life).
Each Branch will have initial dispatching responsibility
for incidents falling within their jurisdictions.When a
Branch determines that the incident is beyond their
capabilities to control, assistance can be requested from
the Administrator or his designate and subsequently
coordinated by the Staff Protection Forester.
Logistical services encompass the contracting,
catering, vending, utility, and logistical entities that
assist the Division during incidents.
- A) Each Branch will maintain an active list of key
vendors and contractors by resource type.
- B) The vendor listing shall be maintained, and
current copies forwarded to the Protection Forester for
coordinated updating of the statewide mobilization
- C) Fire caches will be stocked and maintained by each
Branch. Periodic inspections by the Branch's fire
management staff will insure that fire fighting tools,
equipment, and material will always be in a high state of
Fire Vehicle and Equipment Maintenance
The purchase of appropriate vehicles and
equipment are encouraged to meet wildland fire protection
needs. A systematic acquisition/replacement budget
schedule should be developed based on a reasonable fire
management plan for each Branch.
4.2.9 Federal Excess
Personal Property (FEPP) Management
Equipment and vehicles obtained through the FEPP are
managed in accordance with current Forest Service
management guidelines. Detailed DOFAW procedures are
included in the FEPP Desk Guide.
The policy of the Division is to fight fire aggressively
with full consideration for employee safety, potential loss
of life and property, and resource values threatened.
Suppression is the function of extinguishing wildland
fires. Overall guidelines, are as stated in the National
Wildfire Coordinating Group's "Fireline Handbook."
Efficiency will be maximized by:
- Organizing and staffing to meet suppression
- Utilization of mutual aid assistance to meet
- Implementation of mobilization procedures that
respond within reasonable times to incident needs.
- Development of reasonable control objectives with due
consideration for public safety, structural protection,
and resource values threatened.
The responsibility of the Division are as set forth in
appropriate State law, regulations, and policies. The
Division will provide assistance and cooperation to other
agencies as provided in mutual aid agreements.
It is the policy of the Division that the basis for all
wildland firefighting positions and organizational structure
will follow the Incident Command System (ICS). The DOFAW
Administrator shall be responsible for coordinating the work
of Branch Managers and reviewing their plans for fire
protection and control. The Branch Manager shall be in
charge of planning, coordinating, and executing wildland
fire protection and control coming within the meaning of
fires in Chapter 185 HRS. Command Control - with the
exception of "unified command" incidents, one and only one
individual will be the Incident Commander.
Mobilization action is the implementation of
mobilization plans as set forth in the Presuppression
A. Branch Level
Upon notification of wildland fire, initial and
extended attack strategies will be developed with due
considerations for: location, jurisdiction, fuels,
topography, weather, values threatened, and
Establish an ICS organization to accomplish the fire
suppression objectives for the incident:
- Fill key and other appropriate ICS positions.
- Muster major items of equipment from Branch fire tool
- Notify vendors, cooperators, and other
- Notify the Administrator or his designate.
With the above procedures in place, proceed to accomplish
suppression objectives, aggressively and safely. The
Incident Commander will make regular analysis of the fire
situation and will adjust his strategy and tactics
accordingly to meet the fire suppression goal. In the event
the wildfire incident exceeds the ability of the Branch to
successfully extinguish the fire, the Branch Manager will
notify the Administrator to request assistance. The kinds of
assistance requested will be specifically listed. At a
minimum, it shall include: type and number of resources, and
other coordinating instructions, such as when and where to
B. Project Level
In large fire scenarios that exceed the Branch's
ability to successfully extinguish fires, the Incident
Commander through the Branch Manager or his designate will
request additional assistance from statewide resources via
the Administrator's office. The Staff Protection Forester
will subsequently coordinate mobilization of additional
resources based on the overall State fire situation: i.e.
availability of other Branch manpower and equipment. The
Incident Commander is responsible for the tactical
deployment and logistical support for all firefighting
It is the policy to have air safety as the highest
concern in air operations. Current policies regulating the
use of aircraft shall be in effect. Such practices as
mentioned above shall be in accordance with procedures
described in ICS Operational System Description
It is the policy of the Division to treat
demobilization with the same importance as mobilization. The
Incident Commander and his staff will prepare a
- 1) A plan of action for the systematic release of
workers and equipment.
- 2) The orderly and sequential shutting down of all
- 3) Fire Reports. All incident related documentation
shall be as concise and timely as possible, i.e.
completion of all fire-related reports within ten (10)
days of fire extinguishment.
- 4) Repair and maintenance of all equipment used on
- 5) Replacement of items rendered unserviceable or
6) Debriefing and/or critique will be conducted before
the incident management team demobilizes.