What is contingency


I have been a VIP with CalFire for 25 years, have taken multiple ICS class thru IC 400, I know about Branch, Divisions, Groups, Staging, but do not understand contingency. Can I have a definition? Thankns

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Contingency is generally the back up plan when it comes to line construction. It is usually constructed with dozers several miles from the main fire line. It mostly happens on extended attack fires where the fire is resisting control by fire fighting forces. It is generally called contingency branch as it covers a large amount of ground. Hope this helps.





To tag onto Rowdy, it is sometimes a division or (less often) a group, depending on how it’s configured. It’s an oddity in the ICS.


As pointed out above, the contingency group or branch is tasked with with planning and constructing lines that will serve as a “back-up” for the main suppression effort. To maintain ICS purity, it must be a group or a branch since it is task oriented. On a very large fire the contingency branch may have several contingency groups which have geographical or numeric designators. These groups will be operating (generally constructing lines) in different geographical areas much like the divisions on the primary line - they just can’t be designated as divisions since that could create confusion. It is not uncommon, as the fire progresses, for a contingency branch to be “rolled” into a suppression branch at which time its designators will be changed to align with the suppression forces.

Another function that operates in a similar fashion is “suppression repair” which will also be designated as a branch or a group and is tasked with stabilizing slope line construction, identifying suppression related property damage, etc.


Contingency Group. Strike team of engines, Dozers, WT’s, Crews etc that is held at the incident base during the incident to respond quickly to anything outside the incident (or in the Incident Base) if the locals need additional assistance. The sports term would be the guys on the Bench. Military term would be Reserves. It may not be PURE ICS but it is used a lot and I believe it works,

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