Fire Glossary
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32 entries the in Fire Glossary beginning with "B"
Back burning
Australian term, for Backfiring, above.
Backburn
Precautionary fire set downwind of main fire for controlled fuel clearing by backing" it into the main fire
Backdraft
A fire phenomenon caused when heat and heavy smoke (unburned fuel particles) accumulate inside a compartment, depleting the available air, and then oxygen/air is re-introduced, completing the fire triangle and causing rapid combustion.
Backfire
A fire set along the inner edge of a fireline to consume the fuel in the path of a wildfire and/or change the direction or force of the fire's convection column.
Backfiring
A tactic used in wildland firefighting associated with indirect attack, by intentionally setting fire to fuels inside the control line. Most often used to contain a rapidly spreading fire, placing control lines at places where the fire can be fought on the firefighter's terms.
Backflow preventer
Automatic valve used in hose accessories to ensure water flows only in one direction. Used in permanent fire department connections (FDC) to sprinklers and dry standpipes, as well as portable devices used in firefighting.
Bambi bucket
Collapsible bucket for lifting and moving water or other fire retardant with a helicopter. (Note:The name was in use many years before the trademark owner claimed it in 1983.)
Bank down
What the smoke does as it fills a room, banks down to the floor, creating several layers of heat and smoke at different temperatures -- the coolest at the bottom.
Barrier
Any obstruction to the spread of fire. Typically an area or strip devoid of combustible fuel.
Base
(1) staging and/or command center location for fire operations; (2) starting location of a fire; (3) base camp location for eating, sleeping, etc., near staging or command center.
Bed ladder
The non-extending section of an extension ladder.
Berm
Soil heaped on the downhill side of a traversing fireline below a fire, to trap rolling firebrands.
Blackline
A condition where no combustible fuels remain between the fireline and the main fire.
Blowup
Sudden increase in fireline intensity or rate of spread of a fire sufficient to preclude direct control or to upset existing suppression plans. Often accompanied by violent convection and may have other characteristics of a firestorm.
Boiling liquid expanding vapor explosion (BLEVE)
Explosion of a pressure tank containing an overheated material when the vapor expansion rate exceeds the pressure relief capacity (e.g., steam boiler or LPG tank). If the contents are flammable, the rapidly released vapor may react in a secondary fuel-air explosion.
Boise Interagency Fire Center (BIFC)
The former name of the National Interagency Fire Center (see below); often pronounced as biff-see".
Bomb Line
A preconnected attack line, typically 2 1/2 inch in diameter, used in the same manor and purpose as a Trash Line. Bomb Lines are stored either on the front bumper of the apparatus or in an exterior (exposed) side well. Bomb Lines are typically shorter length than Cross Lays, and are intended for use against dumpster fires, etc, where a longer length of hose (and consequent rebedding after the suppression is complete) is not desired.
Booster hose
Small-diameter fire hose (3/4-1 inch), often carried on booster reel, preconnected to pump of an engine (and the booster tank) for putting out small fires near the truck without having to connect to a fire hydrant; easily recovered with a motorized reel. Booster hose is also used for High Pressure Fog (HPF) applications.
Booster hose, booster pump, booster reel
Small solid hose on a reel connected to a small pump fitted to a water tank on a vehicle. Booster pump also refers to pump in a relay series for pumping uphill beyond the lift of the previous pump.
Box (Alarm)
Originally, a mailslot containing a notecard with a pre-planned response to an incident type. For example, a reported structure fire on Some Road would be tagged with Box 6; the notecard in Box 6 would contain the list of apparatus from various fire stations that should be dispatched to that incident. Assigning Boxes to areas (or even specific structures) significantly facilitated the process of getting the right tools to the right place on the initial dispatch, and helped eliminate the guesswork of which department has what on the fire scene. Boxes later evolved to contain escallation proceedures - on the "2nd alarm", the Box would contain the next group of apparatus from various fire stations etc. Modern CAD systems now abstract the Box Alarm concept and allow box definitions to be triggered based on arbitrary geographic area, time of day, incident type, weather and any other pre-planned situation. For a given hydranted area the "Summer" box will contain the usual response of Engine Truck and Rescue companies. In the winter, however, the box may be modified (automatically or manually) to include Water Tankers on the initial dispatch to handle the case of frozen hydrants.
Bresnan cellar nozzle
Rotating nozzle tip having two or more outlets forming water jets that propel the tip while spraying water in a circular pattern; conveniently attached to several feet (a meter) of rigid pipe with handles or legs for supporting the nozzle while it is suspended through a hole in the floor above.
Brush blade
Rake attachment for cutting or ripping brush and roots out of a fireline.
Brush hook
Cutting tool used to clear brush, longer than a machete, usually with a heavy, solid,curved blade bolted to the end of an arm's-length handle.
Brush truck
Small fire truck outfitted for wildland fire. Also called a Type 6 Engine.
Bulk tank
Large tank designed to be transported to an incident and left; larger than a tote tank.
Bump up
To move to another location. Can refer to anything from moving to another location on a fireline, to an entire crew moving to another fire. Bump back" means to return to your previous location. In the "bump" system of fireline construction each firefighter works on a small piece of fireline with his or her tool perhaps slowly walking as the line progresses until a completed portion of line is encountered. Then the call to "bump up!" is heard and everyone ahead of the caller skips ahead one or more positions leaving the unfinished fireline for those coming up behind.
Bunkers (or "bunker gear")
Colloquial term for protective pants and boots kept near a firefighters bunk (cot) for rapid deployment; more modernly includes firefighting jacket. Basis for command to Bunker up!" in preparation for hazardous duties. May also refer to entire protective clothing ensemble.
Burn out
Setting fire inside a control line to consume fuel between the edge of the fire and the control line.
Burning index
Relative measure of fire-control difficulty; doubling the index means twice the effort may be needed to control the fire (e.g., wind shift, heavier fuel load, etc).
Burning period
The part of each 24-hour period when fires spread most rapidly; typically from 10:00 AM to sundown.
32 entries the in Fire Glossary beginning with "B"
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