The USDA Forest Service anticipated that COVID-19 outbreaks among fire management personnel would potentially impact the agency’s ability to maintain the readiness of the wildland fire system and to respond to large complex wildfires across the country. In response, the agency implemented emergency action plans across the United States in March 2020 to reduce spread of COVID-19. When pandemic conditions were first emerging and information about how to mitigate risk of the virus was highly uncertain, fire personnel were learning to adapt their everyday work practices and to navigate an overwhelming amount of conflicting information regarding virus mitigation, transmission, and spread. Forest Service field personnel provided hundreds of everyday lessons learned and corresponding suggested tactics across the 194 focus groups administered during this project. To organize the large amount of data and facilitate future application of on-the-ground lessons, we situate each lesson within one of three overarching categories: communication, organizational culture, and organizational learning. We anticipate that decision uncertainty arising from the pandemic such as tensions between policies and procedures, decision space, and personal life will have wide and lasting impacts for wildland firefighters at all levels.