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Course of Action

The purpose of the Course of Action (COA) is to adequately mitigate or control the risk to values to be protected, and identify where fire may contribute to meeting land management objectives in areas where risk can be mitigated to an acceptable level. The COA should clearly reflect the decision maker’s intent, be consistent with Incident Objectives and Incident Requirements, be cost effective and logistically supportable, and have a reasonable probability of success given the fire environment and resource availability.

In WFDSS, the COA is comprised of Action Items, the optional Strategy slider, and use Management Action Points. Collectively, they describe the selected strategies and management actions intended to achieve the Incident Objectives and comply with Incident Requirements. Based on current and expected conditions, these inputs should answer the question "How are we going to do this?"

Action Items

The Action Items should outline how to adequately mitigate or control the risk to values to be protected. It should also identify areas where fire may contribute to meeting land management objectives and risk can be mitigated to an acceptable level. The COA should express the leader's (Agency Administrators) intent and should be aligned with direction provided in the delegation of authority.

Incident owners or editors create one or more action items intended to accomplish Incident Objectives and Incident Requirements. The COA may change during the life of an incident and action items will require management as some will carry over from decision to decision, some will require updates and some will need to be deactivated/excluded from future decisions.


The Strategy slider bar can be used to describe how the incident will be managed on the continuum from Monitor to Suppression. A comment box is provided to document an overarching 'umbrella statement' on the strategy from which subsequent detailed Courses of Action(s) are developed. Use of the slider bar is optional but if used, an image of the slider bar and selected strategy will auto-populate in the decision.

Last updated on 6/25/2019 1:32:02 PM.

In This Section


Developing a Course of Action

See Also

Incident Quick Search

Generating KMZ Files from the Incident List

Incident Setup

Incident Ownership

About Relative Risk

Organization Assessment

Management Action Points

Estimating Final Cost for an Incident

Stratified Cost Index

Situation Assessment

About the Assessment Tab

Incident Objectives and Requirements

About the Cost Tab

Estimating Final Cost for an Incident

Adding Incident Notes

Declaring an Incident Out


Field Descriptions

Glossary Resources

Spatial Data Reference

Landscape Data Source Reference

Relative Risk Reference

Organization Assessment Reference

Fire Behavior Reference

About the WFDSS Decision Editors