Burnover Drill, Red Flag Warnings


1.    CREW LEADER –  (Communications) On sensing a wind change/ smoke in  face / with the fire advancing on the immediate area:

  • Should alert the hose crew  by blowing whistle / giving the arm signal / as well as verbal instructions …. “BURNOVER BURNOVER  RETRIEVE THE BRANCH, DROP THE HOSE,   AND GET INTO THE TRUCK  PRONTO.”
  •  Crew leader’s job then is to broadcast a radio message  to this effect ….   ”EMERGENCY  EMERGENCY  BURNOVER BURNOVER YALLINGUP  RURAL  4.4  IN SECTOR NORTH ON TILLY RD .   Describe situation quickly, e.g., .  “CREW IN CAB UNDER FIRE BLANKETS”.   Trucks nearby may choose to proceed to assist.  The crew leader could do this on the handheld radio whilst outside the truck monitoring progress of the crew.  The siren is activated again to alert any trucks nearby that there is an emergency procedure occurring.

2.    DRIVER –  (Pumps, water and siren)    On receiving information via radio from the crew leader  OR  sensing a wind change/ smoke in your face / with the fire advancing on the immediate area :

  • Warns others by one or more of the following warnings:   Blows whistle in short bursts; Blasts horn in short bursts; Activates siren for short period of time.
  • Turns pump to idle, valves off
  • Monitor (which should already be set up ) activated to give a light spray over the truck  ( assuming you have sufficient water for 5+  minutes of operation.
  • If time,  face the rear of the truck toward the fire .
  • Get into truck and deploy  safety blanket.     Ensure RECIRC AIRCON is on, which it should be at all times,  to reduce smoke being sucked into the cab.   Windows up

3.    CREW

  • Retrieve the branch,  disconnect layflats, drop hoses
  • Remove fuel containers, fire starters and the fire extinguisher and placed them well away from the truck (<10m) downwind of the approaching fire.
  • Get in truck and remove fire blankets from bags by placing on lap and pulling down at perforation to open blanket over knees. Remove blanket from bag and make sure it covers the head and back. Bend over to make sure body is below window level.

After burnover has passed, crew should check each other for burns and examine truck for damage and embers.


They provide a means to ensure critical information such as fire weather changes are received and understood by relevant personal at fire incidents.
Warnings can be  initiated by Incident Control , Operations Officers , Sector Commanders.
They must be very specific in content AND must be acknowledged by the recipients. These warnings MUST be passed on to all crew leaders and from crew leaders to crew and must be acknowledged by all.
These warnings are designed to prevent injury and possible loss of life to firefighters. Please heed these warnings.