MIST, not mist, stands for Minimum Impact Suppression Tactics. A video on Youtube ( provided by National Wildfire Coordinating Group (NWCG) explaines the importance of MIST and why it should be used as a baseline for active wildland fire management. MIST can also be found in the Incident Response Pocket Guide (IRPG on pages 97 & 98.

The importance of MIST is to offer an ethical practice in regards to tactics when considering natural, ecological, social, economical values, firefighter safety, fire conditions, and good judgement for ones actions. MIST is intended to accomplish suppression with a minimum amount of resource damage or long-term adverse impacts on the land.

MIST is to not comprise safety.

MIST was developed to incorporate every person on or near the fireline. It allows all operations of fire to adhere to a joint responsibility to be stewards of the land when considering wildland fire management plans. MIST also allows for firefighter safety to be probity number one.

I believe MIST was developed with safety in mind due to the number of firefighter lives lost between the 70s to 90s. There use to be a mentality of putting the fire out and saving the environment at all costs, even lives. Now, trees and grasses are no longer put as a higher regard for the men and women fighting these fires. MIST incorporates the 10-18, LCES, and looking up, down, and all around to mitigate any hazards. The mentality of MIST is another way to show that even though these environments can be destroyed and burnt down they still have the ability to grow back with new growth and life, but the lost of human life is permanent.

On a final note of the MIST video linked above, I thought it was very interesting that NWCG, the creator of the video and many of the safety standards when on the fireline, encourage the use of explosives before the use of chainsaws. They provided examples such as when dealing with snags or suppression rehab by concealing flat cut stumps. In my 5 seasons of fighting fire all around the country spanning from as far west of Alaska to Tennessee I have never seen the use or thought of using explosives as a tactic. I do think it would be fun, but I believe it is much more dangerous to the firefighters if implemented due to the unpredictability of explosives.


Week 1 – Fire Policy Over Time

In the early days of the Forest Service it was simply there to protect national land and keep landowner in check. Many of their cries for better management for other people exploiting the timber fell on deaf ears. Much of the forest then was unchecked by man and fires started by lightning strikes came and gone without anyone noticing. But with a lack of un-checked fire behavior understanding a fierce storm was bound to happen. With the big burns of 1910 people all over the US woke to the true destructive power wildfire has. The severely lacking USFS and local fire agencies of towns were under trained and under supplied to fight those fires. Loosing millions of acres of land and hundreds of lives to the fires something had to be done.

The years after the burns, many stakeholders got together and figured out a plan to never again experience these types of fires. William Greeley and Henry Graves were at the forefront to combat these fire issues. Greeley pleaded that fires do more destructive value than anything else, no matter the size, and it be the duty of American foresters to stop it.  Henry Graves would enact the Weeks Act of 1911 which would soon put a complete stop to any future mega fire.

But, with little understanding of the true importance of fire ecology in woodland setting the Weeks Act would invoke a terrible build up of untreated fuels. The act had good intention, to save lifes, jobs, and the environment, but would have unforeseen impacts of the amount of downed woody debris build up and an increase in the amount of canopy closure. The outcome from this act and many more which followed all the way into the 1960s would directly influence fire behavior we see today in our modern world.

I believe the development of many of this environmental polices early on came from a point of “feelings” and not a critical scientific observation and understanding what is causing these large fires. Mismanagement of fuel build-up, densely clustered plantations, uneducated public safety, and inappropriate zoning of the wildland urban interface. These are outcomes which were not analyzed early on and would be in much more danger come decades before the turn of the 21st century.


Hello world!

Welcome to This is your first post. Edit or delete it, then start blogging!