Firefighters learn how to handle conflict during illegal burn scenario

Instructors at Front Range Fire Consortium Academy teach firefighter trainees how to deal with conflict on an illegal burn call.


Make contact with them. Get to know what the nature of it is. What are they burning? Do they have a permit?

If it’s legal, make sure they have the ability to put it out if it gets out of control.

If it’s not legal, give them the option to put it out themselves.

If they’re compliant, great. If they’re not compliant and its not legal, call for help from the police.
Have them deal with it, then we can withdraw.

It’s in a container, it’s not going anywhere. There’s no hazard to the public. It was called in as nuisance smoke.

I wouldn’t bring the hose line up, I would just sit up back behind. It’s kind of an aggressive move.

So consider all that. What’s the risk? What are we gaining by engaging? If we come in and we posture with them. They’re going to blow up to us. They are going to potentially have a weapon.

First things first, let’s just build rapport with them. If it’s available. If it happens. If it doesn’t, then we call for help and we pull back: ‘It’s not going anywhere. We got these two guys burning. They’re burning illegally. They may or may not have a weapon, but they are being hostile to us.’

At that point it is a P.D. matter. They can make contact. They are more trained in person-to-person interaction like that. And the have the ability to diffuse the situation. And then if they want us to come in later and put it out, that’s fine.

These are kind of the situations that we deal with from time to time. People out in the counties, they don’t want the city firefighters to come in, city police to come in and tell them what to do on their land.

You have to make contact and de-escalate and then at last resort, call for the police.

It’s not our problem, unless that thing is out of control.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *