Operational Leadership

The most essential element of successful wildland firefighting is competent and confident leadership.

Leadership means providing purpose, direction, and motivation for wildland firefighters working to accomplish different tasks under dangerous, stressful circumstances.

In confusing and uncertain situations, a good operational leader will:

  • TAKE CHARGE of assigned resources.
  • MOTIVATE firefighters with a “can do safely” attitude.
  • DEMONSTRATE INITIATIVE by taking action in the absence of orders.
  • COMMUNICATE by giving specific instructions and asking for feedback.
  • SUPERVISE at the scene of action.