Wildfire command teams to meet in Yakima

— Pacific Northwest interagency incident management teams are meeting pre-wildfire season March 19-22 at the Red Lion Conference Center.

“The pre-season meeting provides a chance for those who will be leading our wildfire response efforts to get together and develop a common purpose and understanding for the upcoming fire season,” Incident Cmdr. Alan Lawson said. “Teams take away lessons learned after every assignment and this conference-style meeting provides us a chance to share those lessons.”

The participating Northwest teams hale from Alaska, Oregon and Washington.

They include eight Northwest Type 2 Teams and two National Type 1 Teams.

These teams were mobilized to manage incidents 35 times during last year’s active 2017 fire season. In 2016, a more typical wildfire season, teams were dispatched 17 times.

Northwest incident management team meetings occur annually.

One of the event’s primary focuses is firefighter health and safety. For example, this year, U.S. Forest Service National Aviation Director Sawna Lagarza will speak to emotional health within stressful occupations, nationally renowned psychologist Christen Kishel will address emotional resilience.

Northwest Coordination Group Training Committee leaders Mike Gomez and Renee Beans will highlight national training changes, and Dr. Brett Butler will share the latest findings on wildfire safety zones and escape routes.



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