Encyclopedia of Wildfires and Wildland-Urban Interface (WUI) Fires

Living Edition
| Editors: Samuel L. Manzello

Coordination System Locations

  • Thomas Zimmerman
Living reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-51727-8_99-1



Locations associated with large-scale coordination of firefighting efforts are situated at all organizations, including local, area, and national. They are usually permanent infrastructure and facilities that support fire operations through resource mobilization and demobilization, other logistical support, and coordination of large-scale activities.

Coordination System Locations

  • Emergency Operations Center (EOC): An emergency operations center is usually a permanent facility, although it can be a temporary facility in some cases. Its purpose is to oversee emergency preparedness and emergency management functions at a high level during a wildfire emergency. It ensures the continuity of operations during the emergency.

The EOC operates strictly at a strategic level. It does not normally direct, command, or control field resources, but collects, gathers, and analyzes data; makes decisions to help protect life and property; maintains continuity of the organization, within the scope of applicable laws; and disseminates those decisions to all concerned agencies and individuals.
  • Joint Operations Center (JOC): A JOC, when preestablished as a permanent facility, operates 365 days per year. It can be established on a temporary basis for smaller scale or site-specific activities. In either case, it allows multiple agencies to have a dedicated location to facilitate multiple staff to interface and interact with counterparts from other agencies. A JOC differs from an EOC in that it will be providing strategic oversight to a specific type of incident (i.e., wildfire, hurricane, etc.) at a time unless established as a permanent year-round facility. If it is permanent, it is basically the same as an EOC.

  • National Interagency Coordination Center (NICC): The National Interagency Coordination Center is the single national focal point for coordinating mobilization and demobilization of firefighting resources for wildland fire and other incidents throughout the United States. The NICC is a permanent facility located in Boise, Idaho, that operates 365 days per year. In addition to resource coordination, it provides intelligence and predictive service-related products for use by the internal wildland fire community for wildland fire and incident management decision-making.

NICC provides daily information to national decision-makers for incident and area prioritization and resource allocation. NICC is also the focal point for mobilizing US resources to support other countries and obtaining international firefighting support.
  • Geographic Area Coordination Center (GACC): A facility situated in all geographic areas supported by all wildland fire management agencies and organizations. Geographic Area Coordination Centers (GACC) are established as permanent facilities to support all wildland fire agencies and organizations and are named for that particular geographic area. There are ten GACCs in the wildfire coordination system that include Southern, Northeast, Southwest, Great Basin, Rocky Mountain, Northern Rockies, Southern California, Northern California, Northwest, and Alaska.

All GACCs coordinate resource movement and logistical support within their respective geographic area by supporting the needs of multiple dispatch centers. They also report upward to the National Interagency Coordination Center (NICC) to support needs in other GACCs and national and international activities.
  • Dispatch Center: A Dispatch Center is a permanent facility where resources are ordered, mobilized, and assigned to an incident. It can be responsible for a single jurisdiction or function as an interagency support center for multiple administrative units. It is usually situated at a field unit and may have colocated multiagency staff assigned. Generally, there are multiple Dispatch Centers within each geographic area and report upward to the respective Geographic Area Coordination Center (GACC).


Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Thomas Zimmerman
    • 1
  1. 1.Management and Engineering and Technologies International, Inc.KunaUSA

Section editors and affiliations

  • Michael Gollner
    • 1
  1. 1.University of MarylandCollege ParkUSA