What do we mean when we say the Northwest is at ‘Preparedness Level 5?’

The Stickpin Fire has burned 2,000 acres so far. Photo courtesy of Jay Jurgensen
The Stickpin Fire has burned 2,000 acres so far. Photo courtesy of Jay Jurgensen

As of today, the Pacific Northwest is at the highest level, level 5, which means we have the potential to exhaust our wildland firefighting resources. As the preparedness level rises, more firefighting resources are generally engaged and needed.

The Northwest Interagency Coordination Center (NWCC) in Portland sets the preparedness level for the Pacific Northwest (Washington and Oregon) for the current day. Fire managers use National Weather Service fire weather forecasts, along with Predictive Services products from the NWCC, to set fire precaution levels and anticipate the workload associated with initial attack and large fire support which are key components in preparedness planning. Preparedness levels are set after considering fuel and weather conditions, current and expected fire activity, as well as factors that influence the availability of firefighting resources.

In a similar manner, the National Multi-Agency Coordination Group (NMAC), located in Boise, establishes a National Preparedness Level for each day.

For additional information, see the documents on preparedness levels on the NWCC Publications webpage.

For current wildfire incidents throughout the nation, go to the Incident Information System website.

Also, stay connected during wildfire season through DNR’s Fire Twitter: http://twitter.com/waDNR_fire.

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