Coffee Break Bulletin

Wildland firefighting and the NIFC

Posted: Aug. 11, 2017

This Coffee Break Bulletin explains the role that the National Interagency Fire Center (NIFC) plays in wildland firefighting and keeping firefighters safe.

wildland firefighter using a hose on a fire

The NIFC in Boise, Idaho, is the nation’s logistical and support center for wildland fire. It ensures that wildland firefighters everywhere have the support and information they need to be safe, effective and efficient. The NIFC is where state, federal and tribal agencies work together to get fire personnel, aircraft, supplies and equipment from anywhere in the country to where they are needed the most.

The NIFC doesn’t fight fires. That work is the responsibility of local, state, federal, tribal and community agencies. The NIFC’s primary mission is to provide cooperative leadership, technical expertise, people and equipment for national wildland fire and emergency management assistance.

NIFC services and programs

Some of the services and programs the NIFC oversees include:

  • Equipment development.
  • Fire intelligence and external affairs.
  • Fire meteorology and predictive services.
  • Infrared mapping.
  • National Interagency Coordination Center for wildfire.
  • Radio and communications.
  • Remote Automated Weather Station.
  • Training development.

History of the NIFC

The NIFC got its start in the mid-1960s when the Department of the Interior’s Bureau of Land Management; Department of Agriculture’s Forest Service; and the Department of Commerce’s National Weather Service pooled resources to form the Boise Interagency Fire Center (BIFC). Subsequently, the Department of the Interior’s Bureau of Indian Affairs, National Park Service, and Fish and Wildlife Service; the National Association of State Foresters and Department of Homeland Security Federal Emergency Management Agency’s U.S. Fire Administration; and the International Association of Fire Chiefs have joined the NIFC. In 1993, the name was changed from BIFC to NIFC.

National Interagency Fire Center sign

Action step for learning more about federal wildland firefighting

For more information on the NIFC and wildland firefighting safety, visit the NIFC’s website.

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