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2013 Fire Season Incident Support Update

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FireCenter staff members are working closely with partners on wildfires this fire season. The opportunities to participate in wildland fire support since the beginning of July have kept staff busy in many aspects of wildland fire management. The FireCenter depends on these assignments and opportunities to maintain relevance with all facets of fire management. The FireCenter's ability to embed staff members into fire incident management and support roles continues to be a unique and mutually beneficial role that enhances our ability to engage in active fire management.

FireCenter staff members are working with the Clearwater-Nez Perce and Lolo National Forests to maintain and update technology infrastructure, including remote monitoring installations. Last week, Jim Riddering, LLoyd Queen, Niels Maumenee, Tim Anderson and Larry Lee completed maintenance on a long-term remote monitoring installation serving the Clearwater-Nez Perce National Forest. FireCenter staff member Casey Teske has already been in Arizona as an Initial Attack Dispatcher, and a number of staff members are presently assigned to incidents. Jami Sindelar is working with Missoula Interagency Dispatch Center as an Initial Attack Dispatcher in training. As part of her training, she is currently working closely with the Aircraft Desk at MIDC, coordinating aircraft resource orders and dispatching aircraft to various incidents locally and nationally. Valentijn Hoff is currently assigned as a single resource, serving as a Field Observer (FOBS) on the Gold Creek Fire just east of Missoula, Montana. This position entails providing field intelligence regarding fire location and fire behavior to the Incident Management Team so that the team is better informed when making strategic decisions about the fire. Also on the Gold Creek Fire is the Chepeta Wildland Fire Module, a partner with which the FireCenter works closely. Chepeta has filled a 2-week detail position with Tim Wallace, a FireCenter alum and current Wildland Fire Science Partnership (WFSP) partner from the Fire Lab. Tim is a highly qualified firefighter that is tied in and working as a regular fire module member on the fire for Chepeta's entire two week assignment. Larry Lee, a graduate student working at the FireCenter, and Casey Teske will be detailed out with another FireCenter partner, the Selway Wildland Fire Module, for the next two weeks working on the Papoose Fire in the Frank Church Wilderness on the Salmon-Challis National Forest in Idaho. Casey and Larry will provide line qualifications such as Firing Boss and firefighter capabilities, as well as serving in Technical Specialist (THSP) roles, including assistance with technology training and data management during this wilderness fire deployment.

For more information about our role in fire management, follow this Fire Management Support link. Current fire information for the fires mentioned above can also be found on the Inciweb site.

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

The FireCenter is an interdisciplinary science, research, and development Center in the College of Forestry and Conservation at The University of Montana.