Agencies drill for wildland fire crisis at exercise

Table top training facilitator Don Gardner, Clearwater County emergency manager, giving an overview of the day’s activities.

KAMIAH — Idaho and Lewis counties hosted a wildland fire tabletop discussion-based exercise in Kamiah on Saturday, April 7, attended by approximately 60 people representing multiple area, county, state and federal agencies.

The topics discussed and exercised included initial dispatch and fire size-up; incident radio communications; evolving command structures applicable to multi-jurisdictional emerging fires, local MOUs between rural fire districts; evacuation routes, roles, responsibilities and terminology for public messaging; structure protection responsibilities, resource ordering, documenting and tracking; and potential cost share allocations.

Rural volunteer fire department personnel met with wildland fire agency and department officials, including representatives of the Nez Perce Clearwater National Forest, Idaho Department of Lands, Maggie Creek, the Nez Perce Tribe, and Clearwater-Potlatch Timber Protection Association, Kamiah Marshalls Office, Grangeville Interagency Dispatch, Idaho and Lewis County Dispatch. 

The Idaho Transportation Department, Idaho Office of Emergency Management, the American Red Cross, District II Public Health, and Avista representatives also attended to review protocols, standards and requirements for working together on multi-jurisdictional fires that threaten life, property and the environment.

In addition to those participating directly in the exercise, contribution was also provided by commissioner Mike Ponozzo, forest supervisor Cheryl Probert, and Maggie Creek Supervisory Area manager Pat Hagan.

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