|4 Fingers of Death
||Beef franks. Beware of anything that has been "chunked and formed".
||On a fire, occurs when a copy of the current IAP cannot be
found. Comes from internet error message, "404 - document not found."
|A Big Yellow McLeod
||A dozer working on a fire. Jackson
|Anchor and Hold
||A "big fire, big water" interface firefighting tactic
used when multiple structures ignite and you're in danger of being overrun. It
was developed by San Bernardino firefighters after losing 280 homes to the
1980 Panorama Fire and used it with some success during the Old Fire. One
engine crew plugs into a hydrant and uses their truck-mounted water canon to
pour 1,000 gallons per minute onto a blazing house, while another engine crew
uses bump-and-run tactics to protect nearby homes. SoCal CDF
||Advanced hiding technique, used when you want to shade up and not be seen by the IC.
|Another Pair of Shoes for Baby
||Comment made by some crews with reference to a new fire
||R6 costal forests. (also R5 NorCal forests) Siskiyou
||1/2" collapsible fire hose. Jackson
|Backburn or Backfire
||A combination of art and science, it's a fire set along the inner edge of a fireline to consume the
fuel in the path of a wildfire and/or change the direction of force of the
fire’s convection column. How well it meets its objectives varies with
slope, aspect, time of day, topography, vegetation, wind, humidity. If you do
it too early, sparks may spot across your own containment line. If you do it
too late, the main fire throws embers across.
People who don't know may get this confused with
burnout. The experience of the two can be dramatically different. Backburnfs
and SoCal Capt
||Contract crews. Joatmon
||Big-Ass-Map (or Briefing Area Map). Large briefing map made by
taping together 3' wide sheets of plotter paper. Pyrogeography
||Fish and Wildlife personnel. 40acrefarmer
||A round plastic or metal canteen for storing /transporting
water, etc (usually 1 gal). Strider
||CDF Wildland Engine built on a Type 1 Structure Engine Chassis; looks good but gets stuck when it leaves
the pavement. MOC4546
||Parting reminder, invocation, or wish to those heading out to fight
||Type four helicopters. Fightfire75
|| A hot deep stump hole. Outsourcer
|Bench Warmers or Home Team
||Fuels folks who are not allowed to go on fire due to NEPA/Forest Targets. And, typically cover for the "suppression" folks while they
are on assignment. 2nd Generation IHC Supt.
||The "being" or "deity" in the sky that was responsible for sending lightning and money.
Cache Queen Big Ernie often seems to have a twisted sense of humor.
||Once upon a time, we called our lead planes "bird
dogs". I think the term is most common in the south. Ol' Bo will point and tell
his master where the birds are. An aerial bird
dog points (wags his wings) and tells the tanker
where to drop. Smokey307
|Black Booger Contest
||After big fire day, see who has the biggest and nastiest
|Black Mountain=Green Wallet
||A fire saying. An R5er
||Collapsible backpack pump. Fedfire
Similar to a gag-reflex. Joatmon
What agency lawyers have done to fire managers. Mellie
(there may be a lot here because
these 3 letters lend themselves to
Here are a few for the Bureau of Land Management (BLM): Bureau of Land
Mismanagement, Bureau of Loose Money, Bureau of Lotsa Money, Bureau of Lonely
Men, and B*stards, L*ars, and Morons. MOC 4546; also B*stards, L*ars &
Misfits. Shooter; Bureau of Livestock & Mining. TNF LO; Bureau of Lame
Mules. Forester; Burn Lewiston by Midnight, Buncha Lazy Maggots. Firehawg;
burning land management. bw; Bureau of Lots of Meetings, Broads Leading Morons.
DM2; Bureau of Land Manglement, Boys Learning to be Men,
Busted, Lame, and Mean, Big Loads of Manure. Nerd on the Fireline;
Bold Leading Mentors. Jess; Bad Land Managers. Misfire7
||Sudden increase in fire intensity or rate of spread, often accompanied by violent convection and may have other characteristics of a fire storm.
||This is received when you release a "load of jumpers" in a
freshly pumped blue-room without laying in the appropriate, "TP-LZ". Joatmon
|Blue Room or Blue Hut
||Porta-pottie in Firecamp. Many stories associated with this
facility. NorCal Tom
||As in "I'm gonna go take a blue sauna now." It is normally about 115 degrees in the
porta-potty! Red Army Wife
|| "Bend Over, Here It Comes Again" The first reaction when a notice/email/order arrives
from "higher up". Courtesy of our Initial Attack (IA) crews. 40acrefarmer
||A stack of black chunks, limbs, etc, usually far enough out in
the black to prevent embers from scattering or being blown into the green. New
twist: now that we're not doing nearly as much "completed line" firing (burning
out ALL fingers and interior islands), bone piles are, on selected occasions,
placed in smaller islands... usually, this occurs when Plans says "Line out that
island...", and the DIVS or 'shot Supe decrees it to be unsafe for line
construction (snags, widowmakers, terrain, etc) but plenty safe to burn out.
||Crews of questionable skill level and reputation. Sting
|Boom-boom & Wham-whams
||CDF term for all the extra goodies out of fire lunches that can be shared with the
"hoods in the woods" as a reward for good behavior.
Red Army Wife
|Boot Bite/Boot Bit
||What you get when your stiff new boots rub the hell out of the
front of your foot and/or your heel John "Smokey Behr" Gleichweit
||Snore inhibitor. MTgroundpounder
||Fireline construct by dragging your boots. DM
||Burning in the bosque for those that dont live in Southwest:
Bosque is the name for areas of gallery forest found along the flood plains of
stream and river banks in the southwestern United States. cwzwildfire
|Bowling for Hotshots
||Any time (either by natural causes or an inadvertent human cause) a large rock, log etc
tumbles down hill scattering people working below.
The decibel level of any verbal
warning is in direct proportion to the mass of the falling object. Pulaski
| Brain Bucket
|Brain Dead (or Damaged) Crew
||BD Crew (BD actually stands for Brush Disposal crew). DM
||Used when its too dark to lace your boots, the technique of
tucking your boot laces into the tops of your boot and walking to breakfast.
||Any kind of fruity drink, e.g. lemonade. MTgroundpounder
||The appearance of cumulus overtimus on a clear, sunny day. Kibby
||When cumulus overtimus clouds that looked promising a few hours ago suddenly evaporate.
|Bump and Run
||A highly mobile tactic used in interface structure protection.
You don't put any more than 150 feet of hose on the ground and you don't hook
up to a hydrant, so if the fire moves, you can move with it. SoCal CDF
|Bump the line
||As in "when the fire bumps the line", that is it tests
the containment line. Embers or flaming brands may spot or roll over the line,
spreading the fire and delaying containment. Backburnfs
||Progressive method of fireline construction on a wildfire
without changing relative positions in the line. Work is begun with a space
between workers; whenever one worker overtakes another, all of those ahead move
one space forward and resume work on the uncompleted part of the line. The last
worker doesn't move ahead until work is completed in his/her space. Forward
progress of the crew is coordinated by a crew boss. Original
||Setting fire inside a control line to widen it or consume fuel between the edge of the fire and the control line.
People who don't know may get this confused with backburn. SoCal Capt.
|Caffeine Transfer Device
||Coffee cup. MTgroundpounder
||A gal in fire camp who wears full make up, has her hair and nails done up perfect and wears a bright clean nomex shirt (normally tied at the waist Daisy
Mae style!) example: She is such a Camp FiFi! A Red Army Wife
An addition to "Camp Fifi": Fifi can usually be found in Medical or Finance.
Rarely found in Ops or Supply. John "Smokey Behr" Gleichweit
|| Someone working out of base camp, often part of the
overhead team or support staff. Camp Slug
|| What keeps overhead from getting onto the line. Old Fire Guy
||The three grades you didn't want to get in school. Cache Queen
Can't Dig Fireline. crusader
The best firefightin' outfit in the world, just ask 'em. MTgroundpounder
Cold Drinks and Food, California Doughnut Farmers. Forester
Crazy Dumb f@#*6, Cool Down Foundation. Firehawg
Can't Do Fire, Constantly Depleting Funding. ;) CDF Dude
Cool Dudes Forever, Courageous Dedicated Firefighters. AL
CDF= California's Dumbest Firefighters. CLJ
||Chief Has Arrived on Scene. Happy California Cow
||Another name for the rhino tool. another fire girl in OR
|Regional terms (R3):
In a very bad situation
Same as going gunnysack
A chip out of your tool
The only anglo on the crew
The slowest guy on a handcrew (Chicharrones are fried pork fat, a northern New Mexican delicacy).
Nerd on the Fireline
||As in cluster F<word>, a term borrowed from the military,
usually indicating that a group is at risk or is being risked (because of
safety violations). AL
|Coffee, Donuts, & Fun
||California Dept. of Forestry ( CDF ). MOC4546
||Making sure the fire is dead out by testing for hotspots with
your hands, digging out any hot spot, trenching any live edge. Todd
||What inmate crews look like from the air. Sting
||When referring to a fire: A fuel break around the fire has been completed. This break may include natural barriers or manually and/or mechanically constructed line.
|Cons in the conifers
||Inmate crews. Siskiyou
||When referring to a fire: The complete extinguishment of a fire, including spot fires.
Fireline has been strengthened so that flare-ups from within the perimeter of the fire will
not break through this line. Those who don't know often get contained
and controlled mixed up. SoCal Capt
|Coot and Carp
||Fish and Wildlife. NV 'yote
| Cope Stove
|| An empty Copenhagen can filled with sawdust, pine needles. Made
out of cardboard and wax lined, when lit, it generates enough flame to boil a
canteen cup of water for coffee. Sting
| Couth List
| Couth List = List of minor infractions such as cussing in public, passing
gas, forgetting any piece of equipment, breaking tools, etc. punishable by donations to the crew fund
or many pushups depending on crew.
Couth Officer = Keeper of the Couth List, term limited to 1-2 weeks or duration of assignment.
Couth Nazi = See Couth Officer and make them mean and spiteful. backburnfs
||Person on a self-sufficient crew who engages in Coyote Tactics
of building fireline until the end of the operational period, remains
near the fireline while off duty, and begins building fire line again the next operational period where they left off.
Often camps out for up to 3 days in rugged terrain. FireWolf
||Unkind person who lets the porta-pottie door slam loudly in Fire Camp at 430 am when everyone else is trying to get another hour of sleep. 'Don't be a Crapper-Slapper' signs were spotted in some camps in Oregon in 2006.
||A group of firefighters operating as a unit, such as handcrew,
engine crew, hotshot crew, helitack crew, etc. Sometimes called a team by
those who don't know the fire world. AL
||Also: CrewHaul, Crummy, Love Bug, Germ Box, Green Machine, Short Bus,
The Cage: A ten man crewhaul. J
|Crowning in the Leaf Litter
||Oak/hickory type fire with 2 foot flame lengths. Old Fire Guy
|| According to CDF Mike: Thunderheads or money clouds
According to Original Ab: "What those big angry looking clouds are called that rumble, shoot down lightning, ignite
new fires, pad the paycheck, and keep the firefighters dreams alive of owning a
'new' (ok, a nice pre-owned) vehicle at the end of the season."
|| Dog and Pony Show. Old Fire Guy
| Death March
|| Long walk to and from your work area. Usually several miles up hill. Known to cause Hotshot Butt.
|| Deputy IC, must say it out loud to get the full effect. <noname>
|| Smokejumpers. Fedfire
|Dope on a Rope
|| Helitack. Hickman
||Heavy fire equipment operator, dozer operator. See also tread
head, rock roller. L.A.V.E.
|| Helicopters John "Smokey Behr" Gleichweit
|| Weighted crepe paper dropped from a smokejumper ship to
determine wind drift before SJs jump a fire
|Driving for Dollars
|| The act of driving to or from a fire, when said driving occurs exclusively or mostly on overtime.
|Drop Point or DP
|| A predetermined location where supplies, personnel, equipment
get delivered or picked up. Roadrunner
|Dropping the kids off at the pool---
|| time to go poo. Misfire7
|| Mixing dirt with embers from a hot spot or chopped off a log,
spreading them out until feel no heat when cold trailing. Strider
|Earthpig or Groundpig
|| Hotshot. Later, Dave
|| Breakfast from a ice cream scoop. DM
|| Ask an old SJ. Ab.
|| Interchangeable term referencing CDF and/or USFS engine crews. Used, of
course, exclusively by Hotshots and CDF FC'B's of the Orange Herd! Another CDF BC
|Eyes in the Green
|| Handcrew watching the green side of the containment line that you don't
want to burn so as to be able to catch any spotfires. Strider
|| What a fella calls a female on the crew. Joatmon
|Fighting Fire with Fire
|| Dripping fire on the forest floor and burning out to widen the
containment line. Strider
| Fire Boogers
|| Black nasty things that grow inside your nose, especially while mopping up.
|| Fire Whirl.
|| This triangle is composed of 1) Travel time pay 2) Overtime pay
3) Hazard pay. A Red Army Wife
||Fuel, heat, oxygen, overhead.....remove one of four and fire goes out.
Fuel, Oxygen, Heat, USFS... CDF Mike
||New firefighter who has never seen fire in the wild. Dee
||Weenie of the fire type. WP
||(my new favorite word for blamo) SLR
|Fish, or Fish and Feathers
||US Fish and Wildlife Service. Jackson
||Fish & Wildlife. MOC4546
|| F*ing New Guy. CLJ
|Foam & Go
|| On a fast-moving interface fire, the practice of foaming a
house and leaving it; to get out of the fire's way or to move on to foam or
defend another house. Often used when standing and defending the house puts the
firefighters at great risk or when many houses can be protected by foaming.
Requires engines equipped with CAFFS units. Q
|| Food Unit Leader (FDUL). Outsourcerer
||Forest Service. L.A.V.E.
|| F***ed Up Beyond All Recognition (Forest Service / CDF Combo Fires).
|| (said with humor) - Fuels Officer or Specialist. Fire Goy
|| USFS Cop at fire camp. danfromord
||National Park Service FMO Radio Net to an adjoining National Forest.
||When a crew (or crew members...) simply disappear for a while
during a shift. Joatmon.
||Bent over sapling that can spring on unsuspecting Ground Pounders.
||The constant radio response "Go ahead" occasionally devolves
into this. CDFMike from Arroyo Grande
||A crown fire that's goin' and blowin'. A firestorm that destroys
everything in its path. SoCal Capt
|Going Direct vs Going Indirect
||Two strategies for fighting a fire, both assume LCES are in
place. When conditions warrant, fireline can be constructed immediately
adjacent to active flames: this is fighting fire using the direct
approach. It is more often done on the fire flanks and presumes working from
an anchor point. Going indirect means that firefighters construct
fireline at a distance from the active fire and may burnout to widen the line.
||Describing a fire that just grew big enough to assume the characteristics of a nuclear bomb. Or an easy term
for BCs to understand that the little fire that they sent the 1-ton to just got out of hand.
gunnysack = gunnybag; synonyms: things went gunnybag. things went to shit. things went south on us. Or as Krs puts it, "Where are we going and why am I in this
| Goin' into the Green
||What you do when there is no Blue Room. Outsourcerer
||A person working at an Incident Command Post, (where the grapes are
||Forest Service fire forces. Original Ab.
|| Hotshot. Groundpig
||Firefighter on a hand crew. A Red Army Wife
| Hand Held
|| Portable Radio. backburnfs
| HT=Handy Talky
|| Old term for the Portable Radio; see also Hand Held. backburnfs
|Hand Tools - customization
|| mini-Moes, rhinos, super-pukes. Nerd on the Fireline
|| Flames 1-3ft, haul men; 3-9 haul equipment; 9+ haul ASS. Flash
|| Ones supervisory office. Example: "I need to go have a meeting with the boss at the 'Head Shed'."
|| What helitacks find themselves sitting on far too much at some
times during a fire. Mellie
|| (spiked with helicopter access only) SLR
|| Helitack. WP
|| Helitack. Hickman
|| The body odor you get from working around a busy, hot helibase
( not masked by smoke smell ). Sting
|| Locate Cooler Establish Shade. Outsourcerer
|| Helitack. The difference is that the "Donnas" don't do much real work but
they sure do look good in their flight gear. A whiner usually starts about 1100
asking for more ice and cold drinks, and complain if dinner service is 10
minutes late. Have you seen the R-5 Helitack rigs complete with coffee pots and microwaves?
|Hide the iron/ playing hide the iron
|| When there are FAR too many engines on a fire that's pretty
much dead. Spend most of the time looking for smokes that just aren't there. The
local district is charging the added iron to the fire so there are more
resources available for a new start. EngineSlug
|| Fire that persists from one season to the next. Strider
|| CDF term for a full months pay period being paid 24 hours a day
portal to portal while working on fires or staffing patterns at home. Sting
|| Blue Huts in Camp: portapotties. NV 'yote
|| The Honey Hut service vehicle John "Smokey Behr" Gleichweit
|Hoods in the Woods
|| Inmate crew. Old Fire Guy
||Forest Service Firefighters paid OT to go look for Spotted Owls.
Little blue houses. Siskiyou
||Engine crew. Later, Dave
||Engine crew. Fedfire
| Hotline the Fire
|| Go to where the fire burns and cut line. CDF Sal
| Hot Sack
|| Hacky Sack played with penalty pushups for poor play or breaking
the rules. backburnfs
| Hotshot Shower
| Hotshot Shower = Liberal dousing of Gold Bond powder before hitting the line.
Hotshot Butt = Well known medical condition requiring application of a Hotshot
| Hotshot Hacky Sack
||Ten pushups every time the hack touches the ground, gets caught, or somebody swears. One sadist on our mixed wildland/structure crew suggested playing this in bunkers.
Nerd on the Fireline
||Any type of helicopter used to shuttle in hotshot crews. Firefly
||Checking the spread of fire at points of more rapid spread. It's
like prioritizing where fire should be attended to first, all other risks being
||Working direct and tossing dirt from the fire's edge onto the
|Humping It or Hump It
||Walking or hiking hard, especially with a pack and/or equipment. Example: We will be trucked to the end of the road then "hump it" to the
||Lay down and take it easy on the line (out of sight of course). Two clicks on the HT when the DIVS walks by the point man!
Another CDF BC
||What the State of California pays state firefighters and contractors when they don't pass the State Budget on time.
|I feel a slurry load coming on.
|| A statement some of the guys on our crew used to insinuate "taking a dump".
2nd Generation IHC Supt
|"Im hearing Banjo music"
|| What you tell your Eng. crew when the folks that live in the house (the one Waaaaaaaay back out in the woods your protecting) remind you of the cast of the movie "Dueling Banjos".
|I've got to deploy a load of Jumpers.
|| A statement some of the guys on our crew used to insinuate "taking a dump".
2nd Generation IHC Supt
|| 3 to 4 fingers of instant coffee in a standard issued quart canteen, depending
on the expected length of the shift. Firefly
|| Very old road kill (** insert small animal name). DM
|john wayne paper
||The TP supplied in the blue-rooms. it's tough as nails and don't
take sh_t from nothin'. Joatmon
||Base/Camp slugs. Another CDF BC
|| Girlfriend/wife of smokejumper (not trying to be offensive -- as I was one also).
|| Goes hand in hand with above -- real list is where you are on the call out to fires -- other list was "on the cuff".
|| Smokejumper aircraft
|| A group of questionable characters on a mission to fail. "The
IMT that showed up is a complete junk show." nozzlehog42
|A Keebler situation.
|| Deep seated stump/Tree fire. "Damn Keebler 's ben cookin in the
trees again". 2Badger
|| Get in the buggy. Joatmon
|| Anyone with a higher rank than the speaker, but generally a
battalion Chief and above. Evan
|| A genuine firefighter who has the knowledge and has developed the abilities to beat on
the Dragon. In short, a damn good fireman. Fire Goy
| Ladies Left
|| When there ain’t no blue room handy and you’ve got a mixed engine crew, ladies on the left side of the engine, gentlemen to the right.
Nerd on the Fireline
|| The results of someone taking a dump in the woods or along the
fireline. Also known as a Cornback Rattlesnake. Kibby
|| Burn Boss/Prescribed Fire Manager and groupies. Fire Goy
|| At CAL FIRE's Tulare Ranger Unit, TUU, all the County Engines
were and have been staffed with only one person. This was our department and we
referred to it as 'One Larry' as a a play on Tulare (or "two Larry", get it?).
It was kind of the running joke about the low staffing level by those who worked
it. People would refer to themselves, "I'm One Larry on Engine xx." (Low
staffing is potentially a safety issue.)
|| Smoke Jumpers WP
||What Incident Commanders and other managers have had to do
following the Cramer Fire. Tahoe Terrie
||LCES on a type 1 helibase: Locate Cooler Establish Shade. jt
and from a module leader: Locate Camp Extort Supply northnight
and a Communications Unit version: Let’s Confuse Everyone Simultaneously Steve
(for the real meaning of LCES,
check the acronyms page)
||People that were firefighters, but not jumpers -- as they still had workable legs.
| "Let Your People Go"
||Direction from Chief of the FS FAM to all forests requesting
they let the "Militia" (other FS fire support) go on fire assignments to help
| Lickies & Chewies
||Supplemental/snack/quick energy food products offered in large fire camps from the
mid-80's through 2002. A source of heated debate among top level administrators
without fireline experience in the winter of 2002/2003. Identified as a major cause of
large fire costs and targeted for elimination. ECC1
||Hard hat. MTgroundpounder
||Carmex or Blistex. DM
||room where smokejumper's chutes are rigged and maintained
||Firefighter (southwestern term) who locates fire often after
lightning bust passes thru. Strider
||Member of the public who somehow has to get to the fire just to
gawk. They often get in the way. Mellie
||Motrin & Move Free, A daily ritual for some of us on the line.
||BIG fire. MTgroundpounder
|Maximum ching ching
||Overtime with hazard pay. Kevin
||Grilled beefsteak. Beware of anything that has been "chunked and formed".
||Sound of a reefer truck and/or generator, which puts firefighters to sleep if they can find shade.
||Non-fire Forest Service supporters of the firefighting effort,
see "Let Your People Go".
|Minnesota Fire Shelter
||Life jacket. Paul
|Minnesota Pack Test
||Portaging between lakes to fight fire. Kicks
||USFS suppression efforts "Maximum Income Suppression Tactics"
The Jurassic Captain (Ab note: really stands for Minimum Impact Suppression
Tactics, and is used in wilderness areas.)
||Black on both sides, must have missed something somewhere. Sting
||Also known as thunderheads. A Red Army Wife
|| ...also known as hotshot butt. The Goldbond isn't working. This
condition precedes the Swampy walk, as the firefighter doesn't want any body
parts to touch anything. Red turned to Green
|| SJ in love
|| Hotshots who are complaining about being held for a mop up shift.
or Type 2 AD Crews mopping up. MOC4546
|| Hardest part of suppressing a fire, see dry mop, wet mop, cold
|| Helisugs. Firefly
|Mountain Money, Skid Paper,
Roll of Benjamins
| Toilet paper John "Smokey Behr" Gleichweit
|| Meals Rejected by Ethiopians. Mellie
|| A lower standard of taste. Joatmon
|| Person of great importance, a big shot, for example in
reference to a "white hat" or folks in the "head shed",
originally from Chinook trade jargon of the Pacific Northwest. 2nd Generation IHC Supt.
|| Air Tankers. Fightfire75
|Mud Flap on a Stick
|| Fireswatter tool -- widely used in the southern area. Cache
|| ( Man purse ) a small canvas handbag created to store wallet,
keys, chapstick, cell phone. Sting
|| The Green meat in your sack lunch that has sat out tooooooo long.
National SPARKS and WILDFIRE Service
"Flea's, Bee's and Tree's"
"Dept of Constant Name Rearrangement"
| From Australia:
The state of New South Wales's "National Parks and Wildlife Service (NPWS)" became known by firefighters
by this term, perhaps the NPS in the US could be renamed the National Sparks Service?
The state of Victoria's former Dept of Conservation and Natural Resources
(DCNR) was normally referred to "Flea's, Bee's and Tree's", however as this was the 4th different name in about 10 years due to dept re-organisation, the DCNR came to stand for "Dept of Constant Name Rearrangement". The name has been changed twice since.
Peter from Downunder
|| A group of Chiefs, 3 or more, (usually Local Agency) that stand
around and watch a wildfire running. They usually have their arms crossed and
thoughtful expression on their faces. Dan
|| Fire Planner. Fire Goy
|Nineteenth watch-out situation
|| Joatmon says CDF + fire =
Ab adds this could be any agency, crew or team depending on who is talking.
|| Firefighter whose parent was a firefighter; as in "He's a
nugget." CalFire term, don't know if other agencies use it. SoCal CalFire
|| As in "Nunya bidness." Used when needed by hotshots and others.
|| When a firefighter starts or ends work. It's usually dark.
|| Inmate crews - from the orange jumpsuits/orange Nomex they
wear. John "Smokey Behr" Gleichweit
|On a Roll
|| A crew is dispatched and on the road to a fire assignment.
|On the Board
|| A firefighter, crew or other resource who has quals met and
is listed with dispatch as ready and available for assignment... red bag
packed. Example: "Whoo Hoo, I'm on the board." Mellie
|| A progressive system of building a fireline without changing
relative crew positions in the line: each worker does one to several strokes
("licks), with a given tool and then moves forward a specified distance to make
room for the worker behind. Tahoe Terrie
|| CDF inmate firefighters. Another CDF BC
|| What you get when a State or Federal agency arrive on scene and take command of a fire.
|| When you grab the roll of TP and a shovel and go off to the
nearest bush. Sting
|| A vintage term used by old CDFers to describe the USFS.
|| National Park Service personnel. Jackson
|Papa Uniform/Tango Uniform
|| Paws Up / Tits Up (Out of Service Mechanical). NV 'yote
||(smokejumpers, enough said) SLR
||An engine that stays on the pavement. Fedfire
|| Politically Correct.
|| Physical Training
|| Small diameter tree, tall and skinny. BLM Bob
|| 5/8" hose. Fedfire
|Pencil Whip a Taskbook
|| Sign off on OJT before the tasks are truly completed. NorCal
|Pigs Are Gonna Die
|| Means that there's a big fire, with a big base camp. With pork served every meal, it takes a lot of dead pigs to supply meat to the camp.
|Pigs in Blankets
|| Firecamp security....off duty. Old Fire Guy
|| FS law enforcement. Siskiyou
|| USFS Law Dogs. NV 'yote
|| Backpack pump. Usually 5 gal. Fedfire
|Piss Pump on Wheels
|| Type 6 engine. Fedfire
|| Forestry types: CDF, MOC4546
also FS Forestry types, at least in NorCal where there is a fir that
smells like piss. NorCal Tom
|| An area of downed and crisscrossed blowdown trees, generally but not always
|| When you’re doing a first pass line clearing with a machete or brush hook and it leaves those thumb-thick sticks cut off at an angle, about six inches off the ground…you get those
on a sidehill and they’re just sucking chest wounds waiting to happen. Nerd
on the Fireline
|| Firecamp security. Old Fire Guy
|| Handcrew member. Fire Goy
||How inmate firefighters smuggle tobacco, dope, cell phones and
even chargers in and out of prison, guesses? Sting
|| A magic dragon. Old Fire Guy
||The Pulaski is the most important firefighting handtool for a 20
person crew, having an axe-head and a hoe. It is named after Edward Pulaski
who led his men to safety in a mine shaft during the Fires of 1910.
Crewmembers often refer to their place on their crew in terms of Pulaski, eg.
2nd Pulaski or Lead Pulaski. Joe
Puma, The Eagle has Landed
|| Code words for Overhead passing through your work area.
||Soft sided water container (4800 to 6000 gal) that holds water
or retardant; delivered by a helicopter. NorCal Tom
||Inmate crew found (usually at night) sitting/laying as the
headlamp shines over them looks just like a pumpkin patch. EngineSlug
||Big Tree. BLM Bob
||A bigass ponderosa. MTgroundpounder
||What you do to a warm ham sandwich, (after balling it up). DM
||Person without a clue. Old Fire Guy
||Ray Quintanar, head of R5 Fire. "Nameless"
||Term developed by the El Cariso Hotshots in the early 70's for a
firefighter or crewmember who can't cut the hard work or complains about
anything. "Tanker Queeze" Anyone on "tankers". El Cariso Hotshots 1976. KevinJ
||Porcupine. Old School CDF
||The term other regions use towards region 5's (Forest Service) complaints.
||To squirrel away food or beverage, e.g. stash the last piece of pie to eat later.
||Fire that's out but later rekindles. Mellie
||CDF, in reference to their red engines. (Could also refer to
other state firefighters in red engines.) Another CDF BC
||Firefighter's red time sheet. Time is recorded daily on Form
261, signed by the crewboss and transferred by a timekeeper to the summary
sheet or Red Dog. John W
|Redline or Horizontal Smile
||The line you get from your fire back rubbing against your butt
all season long as you hike
(more of a shot or jumper thing). RR
|Region "4 and a half"
||"Why is it NV when it's in CA?"
Because HTF is a Region 4/ Western GB GACC Forest which has a small amount of
area (east of the Sierra crest) that is in California. Similarly there are part
of northern Washoe County NV that are administered by the BLM in California.
Fires in that area are the responsibility of CA-NOD. ballofire (OA always called
this Humboldt Toyiabee National Forest area "Region 4 and a half)
||Heavy fire equipment operator, dozer operator. L.A.V.E.
|Rocky Mountain Barking Spider
||Used to describe the sound that emanates from a person's posterior region after too
much fire food. 40acrefarmer
||Departure from "Clear Speak" that some DIVS still
insist on using over the scanner.
||BIG fire. MTgroundpounder
||Helitack. Later, Dave
|| Helitack. NV 'yote
||Reverse Tool Order or Reverse The Order of a hotshot or
handcrew. Means turn around and head back, give the supt a head count and
he/she will give you instructions after the count. It's the "eject button" for a handcrew.
Brett & Nerd on the Fireline
||Break's over, "Let's get going." Fire Goy
|| The "so called" 8 hrs. you get to sleep after your 16 hr shift.
||Sawyer and swamper. roadrunner
||Line scratched down to mineral soil that stops forward spread of
ground fire. NorCal Tom
|Squeak Tree or Friction Tree
||Trees that have another tree leaning against it and can start a fire when
the wind blows against it -- basically rubbing two sticks together. People new
to firefighting are told that if they can locate these "dangerous" trees, pinpoint by
township, range and section, and fill out the appropriate form (YES, the district actually had a friction tree form -- even had a
number for it) -- they can turn them in and be rewarded with $25 for each "find" at the end of the season.
WP and Original Ab cooked up the first set of posts on squeak trees some time
|Shake and Bake
||Your fire shelter (baked tater!) A Red Army Wife
|Shake and Bake with Seasoning
||The new fire shelter. Chris
||Firefighting aircraft. Fire Wolf
| Shuddering S- - - House
||Following a contour around a hill, usually on a steep slope.
Nerd on the Fireline
||Someone who can never be found. Old School CDF
||Really good or excellent, originally from Chinook trade jargon of
the Pacific Northwest. 2nd Generation IHC Supt.
||Hit with a load of retardant. AL
||What do you call a bunch of Hotshots in a cargo net? "Kicks"
||Firefighter who locates fire often after lightning bust passes
||A state you can get in during mopup in which you see smoke
coming out of almost anything: tree trunks, packs, boots, etc. Strider
|Snook or Snookie
||A second year rookie; also known as a second year firefighter.
Can be more dangerous and harder to manage than a rook because there is an
element of "Been there, done that, bought the t-shirt" that has to be overcome.
Similar to Sophomore in college--sophomore means "Wise fool." Class C Sagebrush
||Ziploc sandwich bag containing at least 2 tablespoons of black pepper.
|| SJ building with ready room, loft, tool and weight rooms,
|| Wake up. Another saying that works, "Drop your @#$% and grab your socks, lets move."
||Two smokejumpers jump from the plane
within seconds of each other. Two smokejumpers as line producers. One stick is the minimal number of SJs that can be
initially dispatched to a fire. The first jumper of the first stick is the IC.
||BIG fire. MTgroundpounder
|Strike Team (Lima Type, Charlie Type, Golf
||A strike team is a specified combination of the same kind and type of
resource (usually 5), with common communications, and a leader. Lima designates a Dozer Strike Team, Charlie designates an Engine Strike
Team and Golf designates a Crew Strike Team. Rich and Donna, Dozer Support.
| Stump Humper
|| Horned tailed wasp, dangerous in NM, but ubiquitous across the
mountain west, Appalachia; they are attracted to burning wood and smoke; they
lay their eggs in freshly charred wood... they land on you, they might lay eggs.
various chatters in the Fire Pit
|| The SUL that wants every single used (insert item here) back
before he gives you a replacement. John "Smokey Behr" Gleichweit
| swass- sweaty a$$.
swalls - I'm sure you've got that one figured out! 1 old jumper
|| Helps the sawyer by clearing away brush, limbs, small trees;
carries tools, fuel, etc and acts as lookout. roadrunner
| Swampy walk
|| Also known as "hotshot walk". The very odd wide stance
variation of walking because the FF is suffering from "hotshot butt" (also known as monkey butt). The Goldbond isn't working and the FF
doesn't want any body parts to touch. (Her digital camera video was
quite amusing to watch and see the swampy walk in action.) Red turned to Green
| Takin' a Rocket Ride
|| Going to the Blue Room. Outsourcerer
||Cute girl that works on an engine or tender. She may not be a "nice" girl. She
might have been caught doing one too many "hose lays". A Red Army Wife
|| The group of people who manage large fire or smaller fires, for
example Type 1 Interagency Incident Management Team, Type 2 team, Type 3 Team.
Composed of everyone from IC to people handling Ops and Finances, etc. This is
in contrast to a Crew. AL
|| Tender operators. Siskiyou
|Test*cle - as in
"Getting rather Test*cle"
| So how does this fit into an acronym for CDF -Schedule
B? (It helps to know that the "B" stands for CDF's "Schedule B" which is the wildland fire part of the organization). One of my Inmate Firefighters was in that "T word" condition one night swearing and muttering, and I asked him what the problem was. He replied "Jeez Cap, you got us
Crawling through this this Dam' F*%@@#
brush!. In one of my rare moments of wit it occurred to me that that was the acronym for US! CDF - Schedule B.
CDF Mike at Arroyo Grande
|"The arse is out of 'er"
||From New Brunswick, Canada we
have the following rather local saying, indicating a sudden significant increase in fire behaviour. SmokeDawg
|The Big Green Machine
|| US Forest Service fire management. Jackson
|"The Fellas" or "The Men"
|| CDF inmate firefighters. Another CDF BC
||CDF Fire Crews. MOC4546
|The Highest Priority Is: Everybody Comes Back.
||What it says... Mossback
| That would buy a lot of coolers!
||Comment thrown out in jest when discussing the cost of
||CDF Overhead. MOC4546
|This Sucker's Rippin'!!!
||When the Forest Service needs more help. MOC4546
||Blue Room or porta-pottie. danfromord
|TIC or TFIC
||"Tongue in Cheek" or "Tongue Firmly in Cheek"
||Join two sections of fireline or fireline to a natural barrier.
Also "get together with someone" as when two
people meet. Examples: "Have your crew construct handline to here to tie
in with the existing dozer line." and similarly, "Johnny, I'll tie
in with you at DP 82 at 0700." NorCal Tom
||Chipmunk Old School and proud of it
||Time when people gather to sharpen their tools. Tahoe Terrie
||Grab your tools and let's get to work. Crewboss to crew. Ab.
||News Media John "Smokey Behr" Gleichweit
||The part of the line that's got just enough action for good
video/pictures, but not too much to make it dangerous or for the news babes to
get their Nomex dirty.John "Smokey Behr" Gleichweit
||Cross between a tourist and a moron. Hickman
||About half a roll of "john wayne paper" spun down into the
bottom of a freshly pumped blue-room. Joatmon
||Heavy fire equipment operator, dozer operator. L.A.V.E.
||Forest Service Law Enforcement. Fedfire
||Fish & Wildlife or Fish & Game staff - "Fur, Feathers and Fins"John "Smokey Behr" Gleichweit
||A firefighter that spends
more time filming the fire with their digital camcorder to upload onto YouTube
than they do swinging a tool. Paul
|Turn the Corner
||Contain a fire along a flank and begin containing it across the
head via ground or air attack. AL
||Park Ranger. Hickman
|Type II Bleachers
|| The big snow fences seen along stretches of open highway, we were on a fire and all
the shots got to go play, but all of us on the type II crew got to sit and watch from the
|| "Unexplained Beer Injury" Mellie
|US DA Forest Service
|| USDA Forest Service (ebonics joke relating to the markings on the back of engines.
||Use Sleeve for Snot. DM2
Unlocatable Since Fire Started, or Under Staffed For Season or for those that work for the Forest Service,
Under Stress For Sure. John
||Building line dragging by your boots (see boot scruff). Red Army
|Vict’s in the Stix
||DOC Crew. DM
|| Rain that doesn't reach the ground, indicates unstable air
|| Affectionate name given to Ibuprofen pills by Los Padres Crews.
ex "Time for a hearty breakfast and some vitamin I" ED
|| When the vollies tie up the radio frequencies, demand totally excessive resources, refuse to leave their
engines/ crewbosses/ lunchbuckets, and generally get themselves and everybody else who’s trying to actually put the fire out, in knots (it wasn’t us, it was the unit next door). As in: They’re playing vollie ball, they’re such a vollie ball, oh
gawd, it’s them, we’re in for a vollie ball. And by the way, I am very proud to be a volunteer.
Nerd on the Fireline
||Volunteer Fire Fighters. MTgroundpounder
| Washing Machine Charley
|| Single Engine Air Tankers. Beigefoot
|| Steam rising from the timber after a wet t-storm that has sent many a smokechaser on a
wild goose chase, as it can easily be confused for a "real" smoke. Cache Queen
|| Engine personnel. Fire Goy
|We Don't Bend 'Em, We Don't Break 'Em.
||When speaking of the 10 Fire Orders and 18 Watchouts. FireBill
||CDF Law Enforcement. FireWolf
||3/4" hose. Misfire7
|Coast Ranges of Washington, Oregon and Northern California.
Someone who lives in above geographical areas. Outsourcerer
|| Mixing water with embers from a hot spot, spreading them out
until feel no heat when cold trailing. Just watering from a piss pump is not
enough, you have to stir things around. Strider
|"When Fire Season is Severe... Pigs Tremble in Fear"
||Pig for breakfast & lunch &...beef...it's what's for dinner was
||Whadda you get when you send hotshots down to the basement?
Still Out There As An AD
||The pinch on the top of your foot caused by boots that aren't yet broken in.
||DIVS. 2nd Generation IHC Supt.
||ground hog, wood chuck . . . . marmot. to me, they are always
"whistle pigs". grl4ster
|Whizzer or Zipper
||Unseen rock that flys by your head at night. DM
||Skunk. Old School CDF
||Wildland urban interface resident (presumably from WUI). Mellie
||A crewmember's collection of gear, nomex, and personal
junk spread out in a disorderly fashion. "Get your yard sale out of the back of
the engine, rookie!" nozzlehog42
||Get decked out in yer nomex and ready to go (similar to Tool Up,
|| Nomex shirt. Red turned to Green
|| FS law enforcement. Siskiyou
|| When you've been spiked out a while and your mouth smells
zaklie like your feet (or butt). BG
|| Missoula Smokejumper.
| 14 Days
'Till The Fire Is OUT
| 14 Days = Current P.C. tour of duty for Wildland Firefighters.
21 Days = What we worked before the 14 Days became P.C.
'Till The Fire Is OUT = What we used to work before 21 Days became P.C.
||I know we're supposed to be "clear speak" now, but I remember how those numbers
coming across the radio would make everyone stand up and listen -- as it meant FIRE
|Postscript... and a good reminder
to end on... Ab's reply to Dennis, an Oklahoma firefighter who became tired of the
Dennis, when this thread started, we began the FIRE Terms/Nicknames page with Ab's admonishment from several
years ago at the top of the FIRE Terms/Nicknames page. Like those on different crews that sometimes are in
competition, CDF and the federal fire agencies of R5 have been in competition for years. This is part of our culture.
(The upside of competition is the group cohesion that may be necessary for survival of a firefighting crew.) That
said, it's also true that a very many of us work for one agency and then the other. Those of us in this
wildlandfire.com community recognize the strengths of the different groups of us. We do not wish each other ill.
Hell, many of us meet up every summer on fires and work together quite well. We have many shared goals even
while having different missions. The rivalry among us, however, is legend.
If you take to time to read back, all the initial "fire jargon" that came in on this thread was slanted against the fed
fire organizations. The Pissfur Willies, Parkies and and Parent Company firefighters didn't take offense when those
terms were sent in. Unless I'm mistaken, the CDFers among us know this is not personal,
dontcha, guys and gals?
Oh, the reason CDF has historically gotten picked on and not other state agencies is that there is no other state
agency that measures up to CDF. It is by far the largest firefighting force outside the federal government.