During the wildland season, roughly starting in May and lasting into the months of October and November, Upper Pine responds locally and nationally to wildland fires. Personnel and equipment can be resourced out nationally to wildland fires across the United States. As fires start in the United States they get reported to their local dispatch. The local dispatch unit then pulls from its list of localized resources to staff the fires. When all the resources from the area have been assigned and the list of available resources has been depleted, the local dispatch unit will order resources from their Geographic Area Coordination Center (GACC). The GACC services the Rocky Mountain Area and is based out of Lakewood, CO. When the GACC needs more resources, or if a Hot Shot crew is needed, they place resource orders with the National Interagency Coordination Center (NICC).
The NICC is a focal point for coordinating the mobilization of resources for wildland fire and other incidents throughout the United States. The NICC is located in Boise, Idaho.
When Durango dispatch calls Upper Pine with resource needs we accept or turn down assignments based on our availability and needs for our engines and staff. If we accept the assignment the resource order is filled per the request and the Upper Pine engine and personnel will assemble and report to the fires location. The crew will check in at the Incident Command Post (ICP) and be placed on the Incident Action Plan (IAP). Crews can be deployed for up to 21 days, excluding travel time, before they are required to return to their home unit and take two days off. The entire time salaries and the use of the equipment is being paid for by the fire not the fire district.
Upper Pine is a big supporter in the response to national wildfire needs. As a department we have a wide range of experience and equipment that is highly needed and requested upon when it comes to helping out other communities in desperate need. One day we may need the same assistance and our neighbors will be there to help us just as we do to their emergencies.