Clearly Identify Community Response Roles

Courtesy of the US Forest Service.Responsibility for the numerous tasks required for community wildfire response is divided among many different people. Ensure everyone knows what each person’s roles and responsibilities are. It is very important for the Post Fire Coordinator to know who the agency and local government representatives are and the role each one plays following a disaster. The Post Fire Coordinator should also be able to communicate that information to others.

Ensure Assigned Roles are Not Overstepped

The Post Fire Coordinator for your community needs to ensure that the people on their team do not overstep their assigned roles. The Post Fire Coordinator should familiarize himself or herself with the roles of government response teams. Likewise, elected officials should not infringe upon the responsibilities of the emergency response team, and must not act individually. Many decisions after a wildfire must be made by the collective governing body.

Examples of Government Response Teams & Systems

There are several government response teams that  your community is likely to interface with after a wildfire. These include:

  • BAER Teams: BAER (Burned Area Emergency Response) teams work on federal land after a wildfire to mitigate damage caused by the wildfire, and often provide information about a wildfire to the public and partners. BAER teams work with other federal, state, local and tribal governments informing those agencies of the risk to downstream communities and areas after a wildfire. Click here for a pdf about BAER teams.
  • Incident Command System: Large wildfires will have an Incident Command System. Find out more so you know how to best communicate and interface with this system.