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Wildland Fire's 
Original Ab note from 04/12/00:
Regarding intercrew rivalry and nicknames, I always encouraged it and still like to see it. During each fire season I always felt it my job to instill the belief in my crewmembers that they were an integral part of a superior unit. As a crew supervisor, I've gloated as a member of my engine (slug) crew kicked butt on the handcrew during weight training. Then again, I have proud memories of my dirtpig handcrews dusting an entire engine slug crew during a five mile shared run and I remember when a primadonna hellislacker on one of my helitack crews kicked an entire groundpig and enginecrew's ass during another run.

Call 'em all what you want when they ain't around. My point is. . . unless you've been where they have and walked in their boots, you call 'em Sir or Ma'm!

Terms, etc.

4 Fingers of Death Beef franks.  Beware of anything that has been "chunked and formed". JerseyBoy
404 moment 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
A.H.T. Advanced hiding technique, used when you want to shade up and not be seen by the IC. wyofire
Another Pair of Shoes for Baby Comment made by some crews with reference to a new fire assignment. Mellie
Asbestos forest R6 costal forests. (also R5 NorCal forests) Siskiyou
Baby Hose 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

Baggers Contract crews. Joatmon
BAM Big-Ass-Map (or Briefing Area Map). Large briefing map made by taping together 3' wide sheets of plotter paper. Pyrogeography
Bambi Fish and Wildlife personnel. 40acrefarmer
Banjo A round plastic or metal canteen for storing /transporting water, etc (usually 1 gal). Strider
BattleStar Galactica CDF Wildland Engine built on a Type 1 Structure Engine Chassis; looks good but gets stuck when it leaves the pavement. MOC4546
Be Safe Parting reminder, invocation, or wish to those heading out to fight fire. Mellie
Bees Type four helicopters. Fightfire75
Bell-Worm 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.
Big Ernie 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.
Bird Dog 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 booger.  Misfire7
Black Mountain=Green Wallet A fire saying. An R5er
Bladder Bag Collapsible backpack pump. Fedfire
Blagg-reflex Similar to a gag-reflex. Joatmon
Blamestorming What agency lawyers have done to fire managers. Mellie
(there may be a lot here because
these 3 letters lend themselves to
alternative monikers)
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
Blow-up Sudden increase in fire intensity or rate of spread, often accompanied by violent convection and may have other characteristics of a fire storm. FireWolf
Blue kiss 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
Blue Sauna As in "I'm gonna go take a blue sauna now." It is normally about 115 degrees in the porta-potty! Red Army Wife
BOHICA "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
Bone Pile 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. Pyro5755
Booger Eaters 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
Boot Him Snore inhibitor. MTgroundpounder
Boot Scruff Fireline construct by dragging your boots. DM
Bosque 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 Hardhat. backburnfs
Brain Dead (or Damaged) Crew BD Crew (BD actually stands for Brush Disposal crew). DM
Breakfast laces 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. Sting
Bucket Helmet. Fedfire
Bug Juice Any kind of fruity drink, e.g. lemonade. MTgroundpounder
Build-Up The appearance of cumulus overtimus on a clear, sunny day. Kibby
Build-Down When cumulus overtimus clouds that looked promising a few hours ago suddenly evaporate. Kibby
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
Bump up 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 Ab.
Burnout 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
Camp FiFi 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
Camp Slug Someone working out of base camp, often part of the overhead team or support staff. Camp Slug
Camp Tether What keeps overhead from getting onto the line. Old Fire Guy
CDF 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
CHAOS Chief Has Arrived on Scene. Happy California Cow 
Chinga Another name for the rhino tool. another fire girl in OR

Going Chingadera
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
Cluster 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
Cold Trailing Making sure the fire is dead out by testing for hotspots with your hands, digging out any hot spot, trenching any live edge. Todd
Cone Zone What inmate crews look like from the air. Sting
Contained 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. SoCal Capt
Cons in the conifers Inmate crews. Siskiyou
Controlled 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 Officer
Couth Nazi
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
Coyote 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
Crapper-Slapper 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. Pyrogeography
Crew 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
Crew Buggie Also: CrewHaul, Crummy, Love Bug, Germ Box, Green Machine, Short Bus, Stink Box,
The Cage: A ten man crewhaul. J
Crowning in the Leaf Litter Oak/hickory type fire with 2 foot flame lengths. Old Fire Guy
Cumulus overtimus 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."
DAPS 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. backburnfs
DIC Deputy IC, must say it out loud to get the full effect. <noname>
Dirt Darts Smokejumpers. Fedfire
Dope on a Rope Helitack. Hickman
Dozer Driver Heavy fire equipment operator, dozer operator. See also tread head, rock roller. L.A.V.E.
Eggbeater, Dragonfly Helicopters John "Smokey Behr" Gleichweit
Drift Streamers 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. FireBill
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
Dry Mopping 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
Egg Ball Breakfast from a ice cream scoop. DM
EMBO Ask an old SJ. Ab.
Engine Slugs 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
Fell-ette 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. backburnfs
Fire Devil Fire Whirl.
Fire Triangle This triangle is composed of 1) Travel time pay 2) Overtime pay 3) Hazard pay. A Red Army Wife
Fire Rectangle Fuel, heat, oxygen, overhead.....remove one of four and fire goes out. OFG
Fuel, Oxygen, Heat, USFS... CDF Mike
Fire Virgin New firefighter who has never seen fire in the wild. Dee
Fire Weenie Weenie of the fire type. WP
Fireworks (my new favorite word for blamo) SLR
Fish, or Fish and Feathers US Fish and Wildlife Service. Jackson
Fish Cops Fish & Wildlife. MOC4546
FNG 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
FOOL Food Unit Leader (FDUL). Outsourcerer
Forest Circus Forest Service. L.A.V.E.
FUBAR  F***ed Up Beyond All Recognition (Forest Service / CDF Combo Fires). MOC4546
Fuels Geek (said with humor) - Fuels Officer or Specialist. Fire Goy
Gator-aide Guard USFS Cop at fire camp. danfromord
Geek Net National Park Service FMO Radio Net to an adjoining National Forest. MOC4549
Ghosting When a crew (or crew members...) simply disappear for a while during a shift. Joatmon.
Gill-Poke Bent over sapling that can spring on unsuspecting Ground Pounders. Outsourcerer
Goat Head The constant radio response "Go ahead" occasionally devolves into this. CDFMike from Arroyo Grande
Gobbler 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. FireWolf
Goin' Gunneysack 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. AH
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 handbasket?" kb
Goin' into the Green What you do when there is no Blue Room. Outsourcerer
Grape-eater A person working at an Incident Command Post, (where the grapes are ubiquitous) Jackson
Green Army Forest Service fire forces. Original Ab.
Groundpig Hotshot. Groundpig
Ground Pounder 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
HAUL Chart Flames 1-3ft, haul men; 3-9 haul equipment; 9+ haul ASS. Flash in Florida
Head Shed Ones supervisory office. Example: "I need to go have a meeting with the boss at the 'Head Shed'." FireBill
Helibutt What helitacks find themselves sitting on far too much at some times during a fire. Mellie
Heli-camping (spiked with helicopter access only) SLR
Helidonna Helitack. WP
Helislacker Helitack. Hickman
Helistench The body odor you get from working around a busy, hot helibase ( not masked by smoke smell ). Sting
Helitack's LCES Locate Cooler Establish Shade. Outsourcerer
Heliwhiner 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? WP
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
Holdover Fire that persists from one season to the next. Strider
Holy Grail 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
Honey Bucket Blue Huts in Camp: portapotties. NV 'yote
Honey Wagon The Honey Hut service vehicle John "Smokey Behr" Gleichweit
Hoods in the Woods Inmate crew. Old Fire Guy
Hooters Forest Service Firefighters paid OT to go look for Spotted Owls. MOC4546
Little blue houses. Siskiyou
Hose Jockey Engine crew. Later, Dave
Hose Weenies 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 Butt
Hotshot Shower = Liberal dousing of Gold Bond powder before hitting the line.
Hotshot Butt = Well known medical condition requiring application of a Hotshot Shower. backburnfs
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
Hotshot Taxi Any type of helicopter used to shuttle in hotshot crews. Firefly
Hot-spotting 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 equal. Strider
Hot Shoveling Working direct and tossing dirt from the fire's edge onto the fire. Todd
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 fireline. Mossback
Hunker 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
IOUs What the State of California pays state firefighters and contractors when they don't pass the State Budget on time. MOC4546
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". danfromord
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
Iron Man 3 to 4 fingers of instant coffee in a standard issued quart canteen, depending 
on the expected length of the shift. Firefly
** Jerky 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
Juice Slug Base/Camp slugs. Another CDF BC
Jumper Humper Girlfriend/wife of smokejumper (not trying to be offensive -- as I was one also). Cache Queen
Jump list Goes hand in hand with above -- real list is where you are on the call out to fires -- other list was "on the cuff". Cache Queen
Jump Ship Smokejumper aircraft
Junk Show 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
KENNEL-UP!! Get in the buggy. Joatmon
Klingon Anyone with a higher rank than the speaker, but generally a battalion Chief and above. Evan
Knuckle Dragger 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
Land Mine The results of someone taking a dump in the woods or along the fireline. Also known as a Cornback Rattlesnake. Kibby
Landing Queens Burn Boss/Prescribed Fire Manager and groupies. Fire Goy
One Larry 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.)
Lawn Darts Smoke Jumpers WP
Lawyer Up What Incident Commanders and other managers have had to do following the Cramer Fire. Tahoe Terrie
LCES 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 LCES
(for the real meaning of LCES, check the acronyms page)
Legs 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 out.
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
Lid Hard hat. MTgroundpounder
Lip Sh_t Carmex or Blistex. DM
the Loft room where smokejumper's chutes are rigged and maintained
Longshot Firefighter (southwestern term) who locates fire often after lightning bust passes thru. Strider
Lookie Loo Member of the public who somehow has to get to the fire just to gawk. They often get in the way. Mellie
M&M Breakfast Motrin & Move Free, A daily ritual for some of us on the line. Paul
Major Rager BIG fire. MTgroundpounder
Maximum ching ching Overtime with hazard pay. Kevin
Meatpuck Grilled beefsteak. Beware of anything that has been "chunked and formed". JerseyBoy
Mid-day Lullaby Sound of a reefer truck and/or generator, which puts firefighters to sleep if they can find shade. MTgroundpounder
"Militia" 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
M.I.S.T. 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.)
MIST Line Black on both sides, must have missed something somewhere. Sting
$$Money Clouds Also known as thunderheads. A Red Army Wife
Monkey Butt ...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
Moose-eyed SJ in love
Mop Shots Hotshots who are complaining about being held for a mop up shift. Fedfire
or Type 2 AD Crews mopping up. MOC4546
Mop-up Hardest part of suppressing a fire, see dry mop, wet mop, cold trailing. Strider
Motel Attack Helisugs. Firefly
Mountain Money, Skid Paper,
Roll of Benjamins
Toilet paper John "Smokey Behr" Gleichweit
MREs Meals Rejected by Ethiopians. Mellie
MRE-good A lower standard of taste. Joatmon
Muck-e-muck 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.
Mud Droppers Air Tankers. Fightfire75
Mud Flap on a Stick Fireswatter tool -- widely used in the southern area. Cache Queen
Murse ( Man purse ) a small canvas handbag created to store wallet, keys, chapstick, cell phone. Sting
Mystery Meat The Green meat in your sack lunch that has sat out tooooooo long. danfromord

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
Nativity Scene 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
Nif Nerd 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.
Nugget Firefighter whose parent was a firefighter; as in "He's a nugget." CalFire term, don't know if other agencies use it. SoCal CalFire
Nunya As in "Nunya bidness." Used when needed by hotshots and others. Some Hotshot.
0'Dark'30 When a firefighter starts or ends work. It's usually dark. Mellie
OJs 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. Tahoe Terrie
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
One-lick Method 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
Orange Herd CDF inmate firefighters. Another CDF BC
Overhead Threat What you get when a State or Federal agency arrive on scene and take command of a fire. John
Paperwork When you grab the roll of TP and a shovel and go off to the nearest bush. Sting
Parent Company A vintage term used by old CDFers to describe the USFS.
Parkies National Park Service personnel. Jackson
Papa Uniform/Tango Uniform Paws Up / Tits Up (Out of Service Mechanical). NV 'yote
Para-camping (smokejumpers, enough said) SLR
Pavement Queen An engine that stays on the pavement. Fedfire
P.C. Politically Correct.
P.T. Physical Training
Pecker Pole Small diameter tree, tall and skinny. BLM Bob
Pencil Hose 5/8" hose. Fedfire
Pencil Whip a Taskbook Sign off on OJT before the tasks are truly completed. NorCal Tom
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. elkski
Pigs in Blankets Firecamp duty. Old Fire Guy
Pine Pigs FS law enforcement. Siskiyou
Pine Swine USFS Law Dogs. NV 'yote
Piss Pump Backpack pump. Usually 5 gal. Fedfire
Piss Pump on Wheels Type 6 engine. Fedfire
Pissfer Willies Forestry types: CDF, MOC4546
also FS Forestry types, at least in NorCal where there is a fir that smells like piss. NorCal Tom
Pole Patch An area of downed and crisscrossed blowdown trees, generally but not always lodgepole. MTgroundpounder
Pongee 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
Potato Guard Firecamp security. Old Fire Guy
Pounder Handcrew member. Fire Goy
Prison Suitcase How inmate firefighters smuggle tobacco, dope, cell phones and even chargers in and out of prison, guesses? Sting
Propeller Head Helitack. Fedfire
PUFF A magic dragon. Old Fire Guy
# Pulaski 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. Outsourcerer
Pumpkin Soft sided water container (4800 to 6000 gal) that holds water or retardant; delivered by a helicopter. NorCal Tom
Pumpkin patch Inmate crew found (usually at night) sitting/laying as the headlamp shines over them looks just like a pumpkin patch. EngineSlug
Punkin Big Tree. BLM Bob
Punkin Pine A bigass ponderosa. MTgroundpounder
Punt What you do to a warm ham sandwich, (after balling it up). DM
PWAC Person without a clue. Old Fire Guy
Q, Q-man Ray Quintanar, head of R5 Fire. "Nameless"
"Queeze Bag" 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
Quill Pig Porcupine. Old School CDF
R5 Whine The term other regions use towards region 5's (Forest Service) complaints. Fedfire
Rathole (verb) To squirrel away food or beverage, e.g. stash the last piece of pie to eat later.
Reburn Fire that's out but later rekindles. Mellie
Red Army CDF, in reference to their red engines. (Could also refer to other state firefighters in red engines.) Another CDF BC
Red Dog 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)
Rock Roller 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
Roger That Departure from "Clear Speak" that some DIVS still insist on using over the scanner.
Romper BIG fire. MTgroundpounder
Rotorhead Helitack. Later, Dave
Rotor Toads Helitack. NV 'yote
RTO 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
Saddle Up Break's over, "Let's get going." Fire Goy
Safety Nap The "so called" 8 hrs. you get to sleep after your 16 hr shift. CLJ
Saw Team Sawyer and swamper. roadrunner
Scratchline 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 $25 for each "find" at the end of the season. Cache Queen
WP and Original Ab cooked up the first set of posts on squeak trees some time back.
Shake and Bake Your fire shelter (baked tater!) A Red Army Wife
Shake and Bake with Seasoning The new fire shelter. Chris
Ship Firefighting aircraft. Fire Wolf
Shuddering S- - - House Helicopter. Outsourcerer
Sidehilling Following a contour around a hill, usually on a steep slope. Nerd on the Fireline
Skate Someone who can never be found. Old School CDF
Skookum Really good or excellent, originally from Chinook trade jargon of the Pacific Northwest. 2nd Generation IHC Supt.
Sky-baggers Smokejumpers. Joatmon
Slimed Hit with a load of retardant. AL
"Sling Shots" What do you call a bunch of Hotshots in a cargo net? "Kicks"
Smokechaser Firefighter who locates fire often after lightning bust passes thru. Strider
Smoke Happy A state you can get in during mopup in which you see smoke coming out of almost anything: tree trunks, packs, boots, etc. Strider
Snook or Snookie A second year rookie; also known as a second year firefighter. Can be more dangerous and harder to manage than a rook because there is an element of "Been there, done that, bought the t-shirt" that has to be overcome. Similar to Sophomore in college--sophomore means "Wise fool." Class C Sagebrush Faller.
Snore Inhibitor Ziploc sandwich bag containing at least 2 tablespoons of black pepper. MTgroundpounder
Standby Shack SJ building with ready room, loft, tool and weight rooms, paracargo bay...
Start Digging Wake up. Another saying that works, "Drop your @#$% and grab your socks, lets move." Fire Goy
Stick 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.
Stomper BIG fire. MTgroundpounder
Strike Team (Lima Type, Charlie Type, Golf Type) 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
Supply Nazi 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
Swamper 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
Tanker Kitten 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
Team 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 slugs Tender operators. Siskiyou
Test*cle - as in
"Getting rather Test*cle"
i.e. Testy,
i.e. "Teste".
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
The Heffers 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 helicopter resources.
The Show CDF Overhead. MOC4546
This Sucker's Rippin'!!! When the Forest Service needs more help. MOC4546
Thunder Hut Blue Room or porta-pottie. danfromord
TIC or TFIC "Tongue in Cheek" or "Tongue Firmly in Cheek"
Tie in 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
Timber Tiger Chipmunk Old School and proud of it
Tool Time Time when people gather to sharpen their tools. Tahoe Terrie
Tool Up Grab your tools and let's get to work. Crewboss to crew. Ab.
Tourists News Media John "Smokey Behr" Gleichweit
Tourist Attraction 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
Touron Cross between a tourist and a moron. Hickman
TP-LZ About half a roll of "john wayne paper" spun down into the bottom of a freshly pumped blue-room. Joatmon
Tread Head Heavy fire equipment operator, dozer operator. L.A.V.E.
Tree Cops Forest Service Law Enforcement. Fedfire
Triple F Fish & Wildlife or Fish & Game staff - "Fur, Feathers and Fins"John "Smokey Behr" Gleichweit
Tuber 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
Twig Pig 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 bleachers. wyofire
UBI "Unexplained Beer Injury" Mellie
US DA Forest Service USDA Forest Service (ebonics joke relating to the markings on the back of engines. Fedfire
USFS 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
Vibram Shuffle Building line dragging by your boots (see boot scruff). Red Army Wife
Vict’s in the Stix DOC Crew. DM
Virga Rain that doesn't reach the ground, indicates unstable air aloft. Strider
Vitamin I Affectionate name given to Ibuprofen pills by Los Padres Crews. ex "Time for a hearty breakfast and some vitamin I" ED
Vollie Ball 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
Vollies Volunteer Fire Fighters. MTgroundpounder
Washing Machine Charley Single Engine Air Tankers. Beigefoot
Water Dog 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
Water Lily 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
Weed Warden CDF Law Enforcement. FireWolf
Weenie Hose 3/4" hose. Misfire7
Coast Ranges of Washington, Oregon and Northern California.
Someone who lives in above geographical areas. Outsourcerer
Wet Mopping 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 &'s what's for dinner was the norm.
Yum fish01
Whine cellar Whadda you get when you send hotshots down to the basement? Still Out There As An AD
White Bite The pinch on the top of your foot caused by boots that aren't yet broken in. MTgroundpounder
White Hat DIVS. 2nd Generation IHC Supt.
Whistle Pigs 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
Wood Pussy Skunk. Old School CDF
Wooee Wildland urban interface resident (presumably from WUI). Mellie
Yard Sale 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
Yeller Up Get decked out in yer nomex and ready to go (similar to Tool Up, Saddle Up).
Yellows Nomex shirt. Red turned to Green
Yogi FS law enforcement. Siskiyou
Zacklies When you've been spiked out a while and your mouth smells zaklie like your feet (or butt). BG
Zoolie Missoula Smokejumper.
14 Days
21 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. backburnfs
4-11 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 REPORT!!
Postscript... and a good reminder to end on... Ab's reply to Dennis, an Oklahoma firefighter who became tired of the CDF criticism:

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 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.

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