Fireline Handbook replaced

Fireline HandbookThe Fireline Handbook has been retired and replaced with an electronic file, a .pdf, called Wildland Fire Incident Management Field Guide (PMS 210).

May it rest in peace.

A memo released by the National Wildfire Coordinating Group (NWCG) suggests that the new 148-page document “can be printed locally in a standard 8½” x 11”, three-ring binder format.”

When it was first introduced, the Fireline Handbook, PMS 410-1, was appropriately named, fitting easily in your hand and pocket. Over several decades it became bloated as committees kept adding everything they could think of to it until it was over an inch thick and weighed almost a pound (15 ounces). It grew to 430 pages without the optional Fire Behavior Appendix and barely fit into a pants pocket. It was last updated in 2004.

The Fireline Handbook has become less valuable as other reference guides have been introduced, including the The Incident Response Pocket Guide (IRPG) and the Interagency Standards for Fire and Fire Aviation Operations, better known as the Red Book. The newer guides had some of the same information as the Fireline Handbook.

The Wildland Fire Incident Management Field Guide still has some information that is duplicated in the Incident Response Pocket Guide (IRPG) and FEMA’s National Incident Management System Emergency Responder Field Operating Guide (ERFOG), but according to the NWCG, which published the new guide, the documents have different purposes and user groups.

Wildfire Today first wrote about the possible demise of the Fireline Handbook in March, 2011.

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Author: Bill Gabbert

After working full time in wildland fire for 33 years, he continues to learn, and strives to be a Student of Fire.