Regional wildland fire exercise a success
MINDEN, Nev. – Douglas County Emergency Management and Sierra Front Wildland Fire Cooperators recently hosted a regional wildland fire unified command exercise at East Fork Fire Station 12 in Sunridge.
The event, held April 20, is designed to exercise inter-agency involvement during a large scale man-made or natural disaster using the federally mandated National Incident Management System. It was a two-pronged exercise to test local, state and federal agencies in incident management and how to work with multiple jurisdictions as well as initiating the activation of the Douglas County Emergency Management Team and the Emergency Operations Center. Eleven agencies and 77 attendees participated in the drill, including personnel from East Fork Fire and Paramedic District, Tahoe Douglas Fire District, Carson City Fire Department, U.S. Forest Service, U.S. Bureau of Land Management, Nevada Division of Forestry, Douglas County Sheriff’s Office, numerous public utility companies as well as county officials and agencies.
The scenario simulated a small brush fire that started alongside Highway 50, approximately halfway up the grade to Spooner Summit. Throughout the evolution of the exercise, the fire “jumped” across Highway 50, further expanding complexity of the event by simulating requirement for closure of Highway 50 and evacuation of residences in the area that were in danger. All agencies involved from local, state and federal levels were able to participate and role play what their necessary actions would be and in doing so had a unique opportunity to familiarize themselves with the faces and names of their cooperators. As the incident grew in complexity, there was another opportunity for participants to practice appropriate transitioning from one level of incident management to the next.
“Any time we can put together a training opportunity where we can interact with our agency cooperators, it just makes us that much more efficient during the real deal. All in all, the exercise went very well” said Tod Carlini, Chief of East Fork Fire and Paramedic District and Director of Douglas County Emergency Management.