Skip to main content
U.S. flag

An official website of the United States government

Dot gov

The .gov means it’s official.
Federal government websites often end in .gov or .mil. Before sharing sensitive information, make sure you’re on a federal government site.


The site is secure.
The https:// ensures that you are connecting to the official website and that any information you provide is encrypted and transmitted securely.

Glossary of Terms

A | B | C | D | E | F | G | H | I | J | K | L | M | N | O | P | Q | R | S | T | U | V | W | X | Y | Z

- A -

Aerial Fuels:
All live and dead vegetation in the forest canopy or above surface fuels , including tree branches, twigs and cones, snags, moss, and high brush .

Aerial Ignition:
Ignition of fuels by dropping incendiary devices or materials from aircraft.

Aerial Reconnaissance:
Use of aircraft for detecting and observing fire behavior, values at risk, suppression activity, and other critical factors to assist command decisions on strategy and tactics needed for fire suppression. Often called aerial recon or just recon.

Any federal, state, or county government organization with jurisdictional responsibilities.

Air Attack:
The deployment of fixed-wing or rotary aircraft on a wildland fire to drop retardant or suppressant, shuttle and deploy crews and supplies, or perform aerial reconnaissance of the overall fire situation. Can also refer to the person functioning as air attack officer and directing aerial operations.

A fixed-wing aircraft equipped to drop fire retardant or suppressant.

Anchor Point:
An advantageous location, usually a barrier to fire spread, from which to start building a fireline. An anchor point is used to reduce the chance of firefighters' being flanked by fire.

The generic name for a high-strength, flame-resistant synthetic fabric used in firefighters' protective clothing. Nomex, a brand name for aramid fabric, is the term commonly used by firefighters.

Direction toward which a slope faces.