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Wildland Fire Decision Support System (WFDSS)
Other Decision Support Documentation Processes


Process Status:

All Federal Agencies are required to document decisions on wildfires that escaped initial attack in the Wildland Fire Decision Support System (WFDSS). Additionally, Federal agencies may also be required to publish decisions in WFDSS for other types of wildfires (reference current agency policy for wildfires that require published WFDSS Decisions). The States of Idaho and Montana use other tools to analyze and document their decisions, i.e. Montana uses the Incident Situation Assessment process and Idaho uses the Wildland Fire Situation Analysis or WFDSS, depending on the zone.

Process Implementation:

In 2010, the Northern Rockies Coordinating Group (NRCG) issued guidelines for decision documentation to eliminate conflicting direction to incident management teams, emphasizing the importance of full engagement of all agencies in the development and communication of the strategic planning process. See NRCG 2010 Guidelines for Wildland Fire Decision Documentation for more detailed information.


1. Each agency will decide which document they will use.
2. This should be documented in local operating plans.
3. In the event of a multi-jurisdiction incident, agencies will identify which documents will convey their final management decision.
4. The Delegation of Authority will incorporate these planning documents and will clearly communicate the intent of the leader(s). The Delegation of Authority will be signed by all agencies.

Process Support:

For support needs that cannot be met at the local level, the Unit's first point of contact is their Agency Point of Contact (POC) listed below. For the federal agencies, if an Agency POC is not available, contact one of the other listed federal POCs. For the state agencies, for WFDSS support or role requests, contact a federal POC.

WFDSS needs that can be supported include software assistance, decision documentation, fire behavior analysis, and role/privilege/ownership assignments. Outside of fire season, assignment of roles, privileges, and incident ownership should be reserved to each respective Agency POC but, during incidents, other Agency POCs can assign roles.

At Geographic Area Preparedness Levels 4 and 5, the Agency POCs will coordinate workload, i.e. prioritize the assignment of Analyst-assisted Fire Behavior runs (GA Editors will have lists of Fire Behavior Specialists), and assist any Geographic Area MAC Group to summarize and display decision support products.

Agency Point of Contacts
Agency Name E-mail Adress Phone Number
BIA Robert LaPlant* Robert.laplant@bia.gov 406-247-7949
BIA John Barborinas* John.barborinas@bia.gov 970-903-3499
BLM Ken Schmid* kschmid@blm.gov 406-896-2919
FWS Rich Sterry* Richard_sterry@fws.gov 303-236-8124
FWS Shane Delgrosso Shane_DelGrosso@fws.gov 605-352-5894 x116
NPS Jesse Duhnkrack* jesse_duhnkrack@nps.gov 303-969-2678
USFS** Shari Miller* smiller01@fs.fed.us 406-329-3232
USFS** Stu Hoyt* shoyt@fs.fed.us 406-329-3266
MT DNRC Will Wood wwood@mt.gov 406-542-4227
ID Dept. of Lands Don Wagner dwagner@idl.idaho.gov 208-769-1525
ID Dept of Lands Andrew Mock AMock@idl.idaho.gov 208-769-1525
*Have Geographic Editor Role in WFDSS (for assigning roles, privileges, & ownership)
**Can also reach USFS POC by calling 406-356-6895.

A National Fire Decision Support Center (NFDSC) has also been established for WFDSS support. The support provided by NFDSC consists of developing, improving, and increasing production and operational use of decision support products. Information about the NFDSC can be found at: http://www.wfmrda.nwcg.gov/.   All requests for assistance should be made to a Northern Rockies POC before contacting the NFDSC.

Decision Support Process Links
Decision Making for Wildfires: A Guide for Applying a Risk Management Process At The Incident Level

Northern Rockies Support Documents
Incident Objectives and Course of Action Examples
Decision Rationale Example
Periodic Assessment Comment Examples
Line Officer Decision Approval/Publish, Printing, & Periodic Assessment Processes
Spatial Fire Behavior Comparison Chart (WFDSS tools) - 3/1/12

Fire Behavior Specialist - NR Minimum Requirements
In the NR Area, in order to be granted the "Fire Behavior Specialist" role on the WFDSS Production server, the following prerequisites are required: S-490 along with S-492 and S-493 or S-495, and/or qualified as FBAN or LTAN with WFDSS Fire Behavior training/experience.

Agency Links

Interagency Standards for Fire and Fire Aviation Operations (Red Book)
Chapter 11 - Incident Management & Response (relating to WFDSS)
Chapter 2 - BLM Program Organization & Responsibilities (relating to WFDSS)
Chapter 3 - NPS Program Organization and Responsibilities (relating to WFDSS)
Chapter 4 - FWS Program Organization & Responsibilities (relating to WFDSS)
Chapter 5 - USFS Program Organization & Responsibilities (relating to WFDSS)

BIA Specific
Wildland Fire and Aviation Program Management and Operations Guide 2011 (Blue Book), Chapter 12 - BIA Fire Response (relating to WFDSS)

BLM Specific
FA IM-2013-018 Spatial Fire Planning in the Wildland Fire Decision Support System
FA IM-2013-005 BLM Procedures for Approval of Wildfire Decisions in the WFDSS
    Attachment 1 Amendment to Delegation of Authority Manual Section-1203 for Wildfire Decision Approval

NPS Specific
NPS Reference Manual 18

FWS Specific
No Additional Direction

USFS Specific
2013 Chief's Fire Letter
FS Wildland Fire Response Protocol (2013)
USFS Fire Response Protocol's 7 Standards for Managing Incident Risk & WFDSS
Line Officer Desk Reference for Fire Program Management

NWCG Links
NWCG #005-2012 Memo - WFDSS and the Role of Incident Management Teams
NWCG #012-2011 Memo - WFDSS: Decision Documentation and GACG Responsibilities
NWCG #042-2010 Memo - Implementation of Revised Complexity Analysis/ Organizational Needs Assessment for 2011


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