Fire Season 2018

smoke clouds form above

Since 2001, the FireCenter has worked closely with all levels of fire managers. We continue to leverage our unique position and capabilities to advance fire management effectiveness through the appropriate application of tools, technologies, and expertise to safely meet both economic and ecological goals in forest management. 2018 was a busy year for the FireCenter. Our staff served as dispatcher, situation unit leader, Unmanned Aerial System pilot and consultant, and trainer. Highlights of this season include:

Unmanned Aerial Systems (UAS)

The melting of an exceptionally large snowpack this spring caused flooding around Western Montana. Tim Wallace and Matt Cunningham put their pilot skills to use mapping flooded areas in Missoula County and helped emergency managers gain valuable intelligence on the impact of flood waters on values-at-risk.


Although the 2018 fire season around Missoula was relatively quiet, dispatch was busy supporting local initial attack fires and large incidents in other geographic areas. Jami Sindelar spent time supporting Missoula Interagency Dispatch, both as an Initial Attack Dispatcher and as an Aircraft Dispatcher. Matt Cunningham spent some time supporting the Northern Rockies GACC.

Incident Management Teams

The FireCenter supported fire management in the Pacific Northwest through the Northern Rockies Type 1 Incident Management Team 2. Valentijn Hoff served as the Situation Unit Leader on the South Umpqua Complex in Oregon, and on the Crescent Mountain fire in Washington.


FireCenter staff took the lead on the NWCG Field Observer course, the Firefighter Type 1 course, and helped out with several other courses at the Southwest Montana Wildland Fire Training Center.