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Annex 1: Conventions, agreements and declarations


United Nations declarations and statements

Targeted declarations addressing fire research, management and policies

The GFMC Web site for the 3rd International Wildland Fire Summit1 includes the outputs of the summit, all preceding targeted decisions, recommendations and outputs of earlier international conferences and other background materials, notably:

Annex 2: Incident Command System

This annex is a condensed and modified version of Paper 3, The Incident Management System, adopted by the International Wildland Fire Summit (Sydney, Australia, 2005).2

The complexity of incident management, coupled with the growing need for multiagency involvement at incidents, has increased the need for a standard, interagency incident management system, not only within countries/states, but increasingly internationally. It is becoming ever more important to base international agreements on a common incident management system.

The Incident Command System (ICS) may need to be adapted to suit a particular country’s existing political, administrative or cultural systems, customs and values. Where the primary purpose is to enhance emergency management within a country, such adaptations are not only beneficial, but may be essential to the adoption of the system. Given that ICS is a proven model in many countries, and given that training materials are freely available, there is considerable benefit to be gained by its adoption.

The ICS framework is an effective forum in which interagency emergency management issues can be addressed. By establishing a unified command of the respective agency/organizational representatives at a single interagency incident command location, the following advantages are achieved:

The ICS structure is based on the following principles:

The ICS incident organization structure is built around four major components:

These four components are the foundation upon which ICS organization is built. They apply during a routine emergency, when preparing for a major event, or when managing a response to a major disaster. The ICS structure can be expanded or contracted to manage any type and size of incident.


Safety, effectiveness and efficiency are achievable when a seamless integration of agencies is possible for a local-level incident as well as for international deployment to assist a country in need. A globally implemented ICS will improve firefighter safety, efficiency and effectiveness in management response. ICS provides the model for command, control and coordination of an emergency response. It is a means of coordinating the efforts of agencies as they work towards the common goal of stabilizing an incident and protecting life, property and the environment. It also reduces the risk of agency overlap and potential confusion at an emergency owing to poor understanding and inadequate coordination.

It is critical that a common global incident management system is adopted, enabling any assistance to function quickly and effectively. ICS is the tool that can achieve that goal.

Annex 3: International agreements template

This annex is a condensed and modified version of Paper 2, International Wildland Fire Management Cooperation Agreements Template, adopted by the International Wildland Fire Summit (Sydney, Australia, 2005).3 It is an outline of issues to be considered when countries are developing international cooperative agreements. There may be other areas, as well, that need definition and consideration. The template is drawn from an annex of FAO (2004).4 This FAO document provides excellent reference materials, which should be reviewed prior to entering into international agreements.

Outline for international cooperative agreements

1. Parties to the agreement

2. Purpose

3. Definition of terms

4. Expenses and costs

5. Information and coordination

6. Liabilities, claims and compensation

7. Operating plans/operational guidelines

8. Border crossings

9. Link to disaster management plan for the receiving country

10. General provisions

11. Standard operational procedures

12. Other provisions

13. Participating countries/agencies/organizations signature page

Annex 4: Glossary

Many of the terms are from FAO and GFMC (2003),5 with some additions or modifications to the original definitions.

Community-based fire management (CBFiM)

Fire management approach based on the inclusion of local communities in the proper application of fire, fire prevention, and in preparedness and suppression of wildfires. CBFiM approaches can play a significant role in fire management, especially in most parts of the world where human-based ignitions are the primary source of wildfires that affect livelihood, health and security of people. The activities and knowledge that communities generally practise and apply are primarily those associated with prevention. They include planning and supervision of activities, joint action for prescribed fire and fire monitoring and response, applying sanctions, and providing support to individuals to enhance their fire management tasks.

Fire danger

A general term used to express an assessment of both fixed and variable factors of the fire environment that determine the ease of ignition, rate of spread, difficulty of control and fire impact – often expressed as an index.

Fire danger rating

A component of a fire management system that integrates the effects of selected fire danger factors into one or more qualitative or numerical indices of current protection needs.

Fire-dependent ecosystems

Fire is essential in maintaining predominant ecosystem composition, structure, function and extent. If fire is removed, or if a fire regime is altered beyond its historical range of variability, the ecosystem changes to something else; dependent species and their habitats decline or disappear. Vegetation is fire-prone and highly flammable. Ecosystem structure and plant architecture facilitate fire spread. Boundaries between fire-dependent and fire-independent ecosystems are largely determined by the relative continuity of burnable fuels or probability of fire-enabling climatic conditions.

Fire hazard

(1) A fuel complex, defined by volume, type, condition, arrangement and location, that determines the degree both of ease of ignition and of fire suppression difficulty; (2) a measure of that part of the fire danger contributed by the fuels available for burning. Fire hazard Is worked out from their relative amount, type and condition, particularly their moisture content.

Fire-independent ecosystems

Fires characteristically would not occur because of a lack of fuel and/or ignition sources. Fire regimes can be altered by a change in fuels (e.g. invasive species) or ecologically inappropriate human-caused ignitions.

Fire management

All activities required for the protection of burnable forest and other vegetation values from fire, and the use of fire to meet land management goals and objectives. It involves the strategic integration of such factors as knowledge of fire regimes, probable fire effects, values at risk, level of forest protection required, cost of fire-related activities, and prescribed fire technology into multiple-use planning, decision-making and day-to-day activities to accomplish stated resource management objectives.

Fire management plan

(1) A statement, for a specific area, of fire policy and prescribed action; (2) the systematic, technological, and administrative management process of determining the organization, facilities, resources and procedures required to protect people, property and forest areas from fire and to use fire to accomplish forest management and other land-use objectives (cf. fire prevention plan or fire campaign, presuppression planning, pre-attack plan, fire suppression plan, end-of-season appraisal).

Fire prevention

All measures in fire management, fuel management, forest management, forest utilization and concerning the land users and the general public, including law enforcement, that may result in the prevention of outbreak of fires or the reduction of fire severity and spread.

Fire protection

All actions taken to limit the adverse environmental, social, political, cultural and economic effects of fire.

Fire regime

The patterns of fire occurrence, size and severity – and sometimes vegetation and fire effects as well – in a given area or ecosystem. It integrates various fire characteristics. A natural fire regime is the total pattern of fires over time that is characteristic of a natural region or ecosystem. The classification of fire regimes includes variations in ignition, fire intensity and behaviour, typical fire size, fire return intervals and ecological effects.

Fire season

(1) Period(s) of the year during which fires are likely to occur and affect resources sufficiently to warrant organized fire management activities; (2) a legally enacted time during which burning activities are regulated by state or local authority.

Fire-sensitive ecosystems

Ecosystem structure and composition tend to inhibit ignition and fire spread. The majority of species generally lack adaptations to respond positively to fire. Fire can influence ecosystem structure, relative abundance of species and/or limit ecosystem extent, or may occur naturally very infrequently or during extreme climatic events. Fire may create habitats for key species by creating gaps, regeneration niches or by initiating or affecting succession. If fires are too frequent or too large, they can be damaging and cause ecosystem shifts to more fire-prone vegetation. Some fire-sensitive ecosystems are also known as fire-influenced, particularly those adjacent to fire-dependent ecosystems.

Fire suppression

All activities concerned with controlling and extinguishing a fire following its detection (synonyms: fire control, firefighting).


All combustible organic material in forests and other vegetation types, including agricultural biomass such as grass, branches and wood, infrastructure in rural or urban areas, which create heat during the combustion process.

Fuel management

Act or practice of controlling flammability and reducing resistance to control of fuels through mechanical, chemical, biological or manual means, or by fire, in support of land management objectives.

Fuel reduction

Manipulation, including combustion, or removal of fuels to reduce the likelihood of ignition, potential fire intensity and/or to lessen potential damage and resistance to control.

Incident Command System (ICS)

A standardized, on-scene emergency management concept specifically designed to allow its user(s) to adopt an integrated organizational structure equal to the complexity and demands of single or multiple incidents, without being hindered by jurisdictional boundaries.

Planned fire

This term is synonymous with prescribed fire and has the same definition. A planned fire is a management-ignited fire or a wildfire that burns within prescription, i.e. the fire is confined to a predetermined area and produces the fire behaviour and characteristics required to attain planned fire treatment and/or resource management objectives. The act or procedure of setting a prescribed fire is called prescribed burning (cf. prescribed burning, prescribed fire).

Prescribed burning

Controlled application of fire to vegetation in either their natural or modified state, under specified environmental conditions, which allow the fire to be confined to a predetermined area and at the same time to produce the intensity of heat and rate of spread required to attain planned resource management objectives (cf. prescribed fire). Note: this term has replaced the earlier term ‘controlled burning’.

Prescribed fire

A management-ignited fire or a wildfire that burns within prescription, i.e. the fire is confined to a predetermined area and produces the fire behaviour and fire characteristics required to attain planned fire treatment and/or resource management objectives. The act or procedure of setting a prescribed fire is called prescribed burning (cf. prescribed burning, planned fire).


Written statement defining the objectives to be attained as well as the conditions of temperature, humidity, wind direction and speed, fuel moisture and soil moisture under which a fire will be allowed to burn. A prescription is generally expressed as acceptable ranges of the prescription elements and the limit of the geographic area to be covered.


The activities necessary to repair damage or disturbance caused by wildfire or the wildfire suppression activity (cf. restoration).


Restoration of biophysical capacity of ecosystems to previous (desired) conditions. Restoration includes rehabilitation measures after fire or prescribed burning where certain fire effects are desired (cf. rehabilitation).


(1) The probability of fire initiation due to the presence and activity of a causative agent; (2) a causative agent.

Smoke management

The application of knowledge of fire behaviour and meteorological processes to minimize air-quality degradation during prescribed fires.


Any unplanned and uncontrolled wildland fire that, regardless of ignition source, may require suppression response or other action according to agency policy.

Annex 5: Publications available on fire management

Fire Management Working Papers: Thematic Paper series

Note: In code “Working Paper FFM/xx”, “x” indicates the WP series number and a suffix E, F or S indicates: E = English, F = French, S = Spanish, in case of multilingual papers. No suffix indicates E only.

Available at the Fire Management Web site:

Working Paper FPF/1E

Guidelines on Fire Management in Temperate and Boreal Forests. November 2002.

Working Paper FM/2E

International Wildland Fire Management Agreements Template. Tom Frey, Ricardo Vélez Muñoz. January 2004.

Working Paper FM/3E

Legal Frameworks for Forest Fire Management: International Agreements and National Legislation. Fernando Fernández Arriaga, Frédéric St-Martin, Tom Frey, Ricardo Vélez Muñoz. March 2004.

Working Paper FM/4E

Community-Based Fire Management in Spain. Ricardo Vélez Muñoz. April 2005.

Working Paper FM/5E

Report on Fires in the South American Region. María Isabel Manta Nolasco. March 2006.

Working Paper FM/6E

Report on Fires in the North East Asian Region. Leonid Kondrashov. March 2006.

Working Paper FM/7E

Report on Fires in the Baltic Region and adjacent countries. Ilkka Vanha-Majamaa. March 2006.

Working Paper FM/8E

Report on Fires in the Mediterranean Region. A.P. Dimitrakopoulos and I.D. Mitsopoulos. March 2006.

Working Paper FM/9E

Report on Fires in the Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) Region. Alexander Held. March 2006.

Working Paper FM/10E

Report on Fires in the South East Asian Region. B.J. Shields, R.W. Smith and D. Ganz. March 2006.

Working Paper FM/11E

Report on Fires in the Balkan Region. N. Nikolov. March 2006.

Working Paper FM/12E

Report on Fires in the Caribbean and Mesoamerican Regions. A.M.J. Robbins. March 2006.

Working Paper FM/13E

Report on Fires in the Australasian Region. P.F. Moore. March 2006.

Working Paper FM/14E

Report on Fires in the South Asian Region. A.M. Benndorf and J.G. Goldammer. March 2006.

Working Paper FM/15E

Report on Fires in the North American Region. R. Martínez, B.J. Stocks and D. Truesdale. March 2006.

Working Paper FM/16E

Report on Fires in the Central Asian Region and adjacent countries. Johann G. Goldammer. March 2006.

Working Paper FM/17E

Fire Management: Principles and Strategic Actions. Voluntary Guidelines for Fire Management. Forest Resources Development Service. December, 2006

1 Fire Management and Sustainable Development: Strengthening international cooperation to reduce the negative impacts of wildfires on humanity and the global environment (Sydney, Australia, 8 October 2003 –

2 Dudfield, M. and Latapie, B. 2003. Outcomes of the International Wildland Fire Summit, Sydney, Australia, 8 October 2003, Part IV: Strategic Paper, Incident Command System (ICS). International Forest Fire News, 29: 15–19 (available at

3 Frey, T. and Vélez-Muñoz, R. 2003. Outcomes of the International Wildland Fire Summit, Sydney, Australia, 8 October 2003, Part III: Strategic Paper, International Wildland Fire Management Agreements Template. International Forest Fire News, 29: 10–14, (available at

4 FAO. 2004. Legal frameworks for forest fire management: international agreements and national legislation. Follow-up report to FAO/ITTO International Expert Meeting on Forest Fire Management, March 2001. Forest Protection Working Papers, Working Paper FFM/3/E. Rome (available at or (unpublished)

5 FAO and GFMC. 2003. FAO wildland fire management terminology, 1986, updated jointly with GFMC (available at

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