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(Graphic) Dear Friend

Welcome to our NorthWest Interagency Incident Management Team (NWIIMT) #13 web site. I invite you to join us on line this 2017 fire season as we continue in our 19th year of wildfire suppression and incident management throughout the United States.

Incident management teams (IMTs) support the many needs of firefighting personnel, and this support includes providing for firefighter safety. There are many risks involved in wildland firefighting and the incident management team manages those risks to firefighters.

Before taking suppression actions on a wildfire, an IMT must work with land management agency administrators to first determine the incident objectives and potential hazards of this fire and local area.  A hazard is a condition that exists with the potential to cause injury, illness or death of personnel; damage equipment or property; or, degrade the mission to accomplish wildfire suppression objectives. Risk is defined as the probability and severity of loss due to hazards.

For instance, a fast-moving wildfire may threaten a community, but taking direct action with firefighters and heavy equipment working in dry, steep, unburned forest land along the fire front could put firefighters in danger.  The risk and consequences associated with putting firefighters between the town and the fire must be assessed and strategic options must be identified and considered to minimize firefighter exposure to the potential hazard.

After evacuating the community, possible options for the IMT faced with the situation above may be to slow or stop the fire movement by having the most highly skilled firefighting crews burn out fuels from safe anchor points or by using aircraft to drop retardant ahead of the fire.  Another option may involve cooling down the fire by dropping helicopter buckets of water on it. All of these actions involve risks, too. The IMT evaluates the risks versus the gains for every action that is taken.  This called deliberate risk management.

The IMT identifies hazards and risks and makes time-critical decisions at the appropriate level using the expertise of skilled fire managers and resource specialists. Once a decision is made to execute an action, the IMT monitors the action and continually re-evaluates its effectiveness, especially as the fire behavior, weather and resources available to assist the effort continually change.

Just how much risk is acceptable when taking suppression action?  Well, that depends upon a lot of different things – such as laws, available fire-fighting resources, and values to be protected -- that must be considered in a thorough assessment.  A risk-based decision considers the objectives of the land owner or administrator, the exposure of fire-fighter personnel to hazards, and the probability of the success of the action.

The analytical decision process used by the IMT to prescribe firefighting actions is complex, thorough and effective in reducing exposure of firefighting personnel to unnecessary risks. 



Brian Gales
Incident Commander
NorthWest Interagency Incident Management Team #13

Larry Nickey
Deputy Incident Commander
NorthWest Interagency Incident Management Team #13

 

 

Brian Gales Incident Commander Trainee

Brian Gales
Incident Commander
Team 13

Incident Commander Larry Nickey

Larry Nickey
Deputy Incident Commander
Team 13



 
  CURRENT FIRE
 

2017 Incidents:

Status: NWIIMT #13 is presently assigned to Chetco Bar Fire, Cave Junction, Oregon


WIMT #4 organized and hosted the 2012 Washington Interagency Incident Management Training Conference held in Yakima, Wash., on April 17 and 18. For information and photographs from the Conference, please click here:

WIIMT 2012 Training Conference Poster

   

  OTHER RESOURCES
  Fire Prevention
  Very Large Air Tanker (VLAT) Analysis of Cost at Colockum-Tarps Incident, 2013 (PDF)
  National Interagency Fire Center
  Team 4 brochure (pdf)
  Wildfire Terminology
  Forest Health Display (pdf)
It's large--2 MB
 

Aerial Application of Fire Retardant

Wildland Fire Chemical
Clean-Up

 

Video: What is Human Resources?

Forest Service Knowledge Sharing and Conservation Program: WIMT#4

2016 NorthWest Interagency Incident Management Team #13  Disclaimers | Privacy Policy

 

For national information:
National Interagency Fire Center
or call 208-387-5050