Any IMT large scale incident considerations


I’m curious is there has been any talk at the team levels about what this all will look like in say 3-4 months when fires start?

How will fire camps and briefings be held on a large scale fire if we still are in this social distancing? I suspect we will be.


I have not heard anything at this point. Unfortunately the Safety Officer Conference got cancelled and a number of the Team Meetings have also been cancelled. I have heard there is some activity on this topic by the Area Command Teams as part of their deployment for COVID 19.


I’m in an S-404 class this week. With all going on, I was wondering. If stuff starts I’m sure we will have to have SOME leeway however ramping up and the daily norm is gonna be way different.

With all we need to already do, not being able to do large scale in person briefings in camp and on the divisions has the potential for some safety issues. Social distancing on fires if gonna be a challenge especially for feeding. MKU now opened 24hrs?

Guess COML’s just got a whole lot busier

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Kevlar, that is a great question. Many of the teams are communicating within their disciplines on how current events will impact their shops. There are many unknowns. Patience and understanding will be much needed as we work through what is going on (at work and at home).


That very question is the reason why the three Area Command teams were tasked with a virtual assignment. Starting now to plan for continuity of operations during the fire season. If we are not well past the current situation it will/must look a lot different. How many local government agencies can permit their staff to work outside their day jobs? How many significant others will be very happy with folks putting themselves in a lot higher risk atmosphere. Lots needs to be planned for. For now, looking at lots of options and planning for different scenarios is about the only way to proceed forward. There are several Type 3 AHIMTs out working medical/logistical staging and distribution areas.


Exactly what IMT Geek said. Current activation with NIMO and area command is also to begin planning out what large fire IMT activation may look like given current circumstances.

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I figured I would just get the conversation started. This also came out yesterday.

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Interesting article. Maybe saving for Phase 3 legislation.

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Just one guy’s viewpoint here, but isn’t keeping fires confined to IA been our basic mantra for roughly 110 years and is now viewed as a substantial contributing factor as to why we are now faced with a growing number of highly destructive fires?

And looking specifically at the Tubbs Fire or the Camp Fire or the Kincade Fire which all started outside of any aircraft availability hours and in extreme wind conditions, were not going to be stopped in IA, even if every firefighter and piece of equipment in the State was on scene in minutes.

Personally, suggesting that much more of the same is the answer is not only naive but will have even more devastating outcomes down range.


Dozer_Keith. Very succinct, to the point, and true!


10 acres or less 95% of the time.

It’s that 5% that’ll get cha.

Kidding aside, we all know while aircraft when available, can slow fires but don’t put them out. It’s boots on the ground that need to cut the lines and put wet stuff on the red stuff.

I agree we are aggressive already at going after and trying to keep fires small, however it doesn’t always work.

When it doesn’t always work, what’s that gonna look like if we still have the current restrictions today? We won’t be able to keep em at all or the boxes just got a lot bigger and more destructive.


I completely agree with you and lest there be any concern, my original comments were not directed towards you but towards the author, Bill Gabbert.

I don’t personally believe that putting what we currently do on steroids and expecting a significantly different outcome is realistic nor is it responsible. I don’t think any of us, myself included would ever turn down more resources. That being said, learning from the past is a pretty good indicator on how we could or should potentially approach the future. By now, it’s pretty clear that the extreme winds in Australia had a major contributing factor towards the T134 tragedy. We also recognize that air asset effectiveness in high wind conditions is marginal at best and places air crews in an extreme risk condition.

As you, @Kevlar stated, boots on the ground is what contains and controls fires. Simply putting more aircraft in a confined airspace is going to further complicate the often very congested over head area on a fire. As CalFire is experiencing, finding air crews with the right experience necessary for the C-130’s is a challenging task and to multiply that x6 is not going to be an easy ask without staffing with less adequate or experienced crews.

There is also a human factor, that absolutely has to be considered. As we see with this pandemic, the general public will always take the easy way out. If they believe that we in the wildland fire community think that the solution to all of our destructive fire situations is to simply add more aircraft, they will sign on to that in a heartbeat and at the same time, believe that will remove their personal responsibility to ensure their property has the necessary clearance and defensible spaces.

And yes, absolutely, it is always going to be that 5% that get away that are the dangerous and destructive ones.

I just believe that Bill Gabbert’s solution isn’t going to change that outcome and will further endanger the public by continuing the cycle which has brought us to this moment in time with all of the wildland factors involved. But Bill is entitled to his opinion just as each one of us here is entitled to our own.