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Multiple Colorado Fires Prompt 'Area Command Team' Activation

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Dave Dennis

With hundreds of thousands of acres burning across Colorado, the US Forest Service has activated its rarely used Area Command Team to manage the fires and their Incident Management Teams.

There are only 3 Area Command Teams around the US.– and according to Bill Gabbert, who publishes wildfiretoday.com, activating a team happens when there is a shortage of firefighting resources or agencies are overwhelmed.

An ACTeam does not directly manage fires or other types of incidents, but they supervise IM Teams assigned to individual fires, or they can oversee the management of a very large incident that has multiple IMTeams engaged.

The Area Commander is Bob Anderson, and his team will be based out of the Front Range Area Command near Golden. The last time activation of Area Command Team 2 took place was during the 2008 Six Rivers/Kalamath Fire in California.

One of the goals of the Area Command is to oversee the distribution of limited resources between multiple fires.

Two Type 1 Incident Management Teams are currently working the High Park fire west of Fort Collins and the Waldo fire west of Colorado Springs.

More information on both fires can be found here.