top of page

Complexity Analysis:

A guided process that can be used to determine the overall complexity of a prescribed fire project.  Helps identify special problems or concerns and where prescribed fire plan changes may be prudent to mitigate or eliminate these issues.


Description of the Prescribed Fire Area:

Provides a physical description of the landscape, fuels, and resources both inside and outside the burn area. As much of this information as possible is included in detailed maps of the operational area.



A defined range of measurable conditions during which a prescribed burn may be ignited and held that will result in acceptable fire behavior and smoke management.



All personnel must receive a briefing prior to assignment to ensure safety considerations, prescribed burn objectives, and operations are clearly defined and understood.


Organization and Equipment:

The positions, equipment, and supplies needed for all phases of the prescribed fire are determined by the complexity of the project and organized using standard Incident Command System principles to ensure objectives and contingencies can be safely met.



Radio frequencies, and increasingly, telephone numbers are identified and documented for operational and emergency communication.


Public and Personnel Safety:

Safety hazards, protective equipment requirements, and emergency procedures are determined using a risk analysis for each prescribed burn.  

Test Fire:

A provision for a test fire to be ignited in a representative location that can be easily controlled in order to verify that the prescribed fire behavior and smoke dispersal will meet management objectives.


Holding Plan:

Describes the general procedures, critical areas, and organizational responsibility for maintaining the fire within the project area during different phases of implementation.


Contingency Plan:

The contingency plan establishes “trigger points” and procedures for possible, but unlikely, events where additional actions or resources are needed to bring the project back within the scope of the prescribed fire plan.  Not a wildfire declaration.


Wildfire Conversion:

Describes the actions to be taken when contingency procedures have failed or are likely to fail and the prescribed fire is declared a wildfire by the responsible individual identified in the plan.


bottom of page