Wildland Firefighting

The Basics of Handline Construction

Issue 10 and Volume 172.

Wildland Urban Interface ❘ By BRYAN McLEAN Handline construction is one of the main methods for containing a wildland fire. You can use it as both an offensive and a defensive tactic as well as a direct or an indirect attack method. This process of removing available fuel for the fire by clearing an area down to mineral soil stops the fire’s spread. Depending on the assignment, handline construction can take a fair amount of time, resources, and planning. However, no matter the assignment, always remember the acronym LCES (Lookouts, Communications, Escape routes, and Safety zones), the “10 Standard Fire Orders,” and the “18 Situations to Shout ‘Watch Out.’” (1) Handline containment supported with a hoselay. (Photos courtesy of author.) (2) Crews construct the handline. Dozers can construct a lot of line, but they cannot access some areas because of rough terrain or they are not allowed to operate in…

Subscribe to unlock this content

Subscribe Now