In June of 2008 the Washington State Department of Natural Resources (DNR), the USDA Forest Service, and Bureau of Land Management (BLM) dedicated and officially opened the Northeast Washington Interagency Communications Center (NEWICC) in Colville, Washington. The new center is a joint effort by the three agencies to provide northeastern Washington with a one-stop facility for wildland fire communications and dispatch operations. NEWICC has an anticipated workload of 400 wildland fire incidents a year and provides dispatching for approximately 10, 000 square miles in northeastern Washington

Northeast Washington Interagency Dispatch Center

“This is an exciting time for northeast Washington,” said Public Lands Commissioner Doug Sutherland. “This new facility will not only help us with firefighter safety and cost efficiency; it will also allow the agencies to better coordinate resources when responding to wildfires.”

According to Sally Sovey, Associate District Manager at BLM Spokane District, “the joint facility not only improves our coordination when we respond to wildfires, but also, builds upon the cooperative spirit of the public land management agencies.”

“This project has been over five years in planning and is a culmination of efforts of many people. I feel this center will increase public and firefighter safety and efficiency in our firefighting efforts” said Rick Brazell, Forest Supervisor of Colville National Forest.

In addition, this new facility involves U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Turnbull and Little Pend Oreille Wildlife Refuges).

For more information contact Steve Rawlings, Colville National Forest, Fire Management Officer, (509)684-7333, email: srawlings@fs.fed.us