Fire officials decided to raise the wildfire preparedness level in the Rocky Mountain Region to level 4 Wednesday, which is the second highest level it can be.
The National Multi-Agency Coordination Group sets the levels based on fire danger, fire activity and the availability of resources to help fight fires.
A level 4 preparedness level means there is potential for significant wildfires in the area and resources are being "heavily committed." in those areas.
If conditions were to worsen, a level 5 preparedness level could be issued. This means full commitment of national resources and the potential for more significant wildfires remains high in multiple areas across the country.
The full definition of the preparedness levels is outlined below (courtesy of the National Interagency Fire Center)
Preparedness Level 1
Geographic Areas accomplish incident management objectives utilizing local resources with little or no national support.
– Conditions are not favorable to support significant wildland fire activity in most geographic areas.
– Resource capability is adequate with little or no mobilization of resources occurring through the National Interagency Coordination Center.
– Potential for emerging significant wildland fires is expected to remain minimal.
Preparedness Level 2
Active Geographic Areas (GA’s) are unable to independently accomplish incident management objectives. Resource capability remains stable enough nationally to sustain incident operations and meet objectives in active GA’s.
– Significant wildland fire activity is increasing in a few geographic areas.
– Resources within most geographic areas are adequate to manage the current situation, with light to moderate mobilization of resources occurring through the National Interagency Coordination Center.
– Potential for emerging significant wildland fires is normal to below normal for the time of year.
Preparedness Level 3
Mobilization of resources nationally is required to sustain incident management operations in the active Geographic Areas (GA’s). National priorities established as a necessary measure to address the heavy and persistent demand for shared resources among active GA’s.
– Significant wildland fire activity is occurring in multiple geographic areas, with Incident Management Teams (IMTs) actively engaged.
– Mobilization of resources through the National Interagency Coordination Center is moderate to heavy.
– Potential for emerging significant wildland fires is normal for the time of year.
Preparedness Level 4
Shared resources are heavily committed. National mobilization trends affect all Geographic Areas (GA’s) and regularly occur over larger and larger distances. National priorities govern resources of all types. Heavy demand on inactive/low activity GA’s with low levels of activity for available resources.
– Significant wildland fire activity is occurring in multiple geographic areas; significant commitment of Incident Management Teams.
– NICC increasingly engages GACCs in an effort to coordinate and fill orders for available resources.
– Potential for significant incidents emerging in multiple GA’s indicates that resource demands will continue or increase.
Preparedness Level 5
National mobilization is heavily committed and measures need to be taken to support GA’s. Active GA’s must take emergency measures to sustain incident operations.
– Full commitment of national resources is ongoing.
– Resource orders filled at NICC by specifically coordinating requests with GACCs as resources become available.
– Potential for emerging significant wildland fires is high and expected to remain high in multiple geographic areas.