Working with Media and Public

NIFC News Releases

Media engagement 

Interview Guidelines

  • Ensure that the appropriate Public Information Officer or the local Public Affairs office is aware of media visits.
  • Be prepared. Know the facts. Develop a few key messages and deliver them. Prepare responses to potential tough questions. If possible, talk to reporter beforehand to get an idea of subjects, direction, and slant of the interview.
  • Be concise. Give simple answers (10-20 seconds), and when you’re done, be quiet. If you botch the answer, simply ask to start again.
  • Be honest, personable, professional, presentable (remove sunglasses and hats).
  • Look at the reporter, not the camera.
  • Ensure media are escorted and wearing PPE when going to the fireline or hazardous sites.
  • NEVER talk “off the record,” exaggerate, or try to be cute or funny.
  • DON’T guess or speculate or say “no comment.”
  • Either explain why you can’t answer the question or offer to track down the answer.
  • DON’T disagree with the reporter. Instead, tactfully and immediately clarify and correct the information.
  • DON’T speak for other agencies or offices.
  • DON’T use jargon or acronyms.

More Resources:

Documentary and Series Producers Guide 

The Documentary and Series Producers Guide is intended to provide basic information on the policies and processes followed by NIFC in considering proposals to use federal firefighting crews, incident management teams, and wildland fire equipment in a documentary film or television series production. The principles in this guide can be modified to better serve your specific needs.

Public outreach

Prevention, Education and Mitigation links

Fact Sheets


Download PSAs Harrison Ford Did for Teton Interagency Fire in Wyoming

Zip Files:

Tool kits

Critical Incident communication Resources

Critical Incident Communications Guides

Critical Incident Documents

Emergency Support Function (ESF) #4: Firefighting Introduction

Frequently Asked Questions