Poll: Preparedness Level 5 this year?

When do YOU think we will move to PL 5 this year? And, will there be a “Moses Letter” this year?

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The National MAC Group just moved the national fire Preparedness Level up to 4, “due to increased significant wildland fire activity from central TX to WA state, the commitment of IMTs, and the potential for new wildland fires across multiple GACCs”. The highest level is 5.

NIFC has more information about Preparedness Levels, but here is the criteria for PL 5:

National mobilization is heavily committed and measures need to be taken to support [Geographic Areas]. 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.

Please take our poll. Answers must be clicked by the end of the day on Monday, July 23, 2018.

When this year will the national preparedness level be moved to PL 5? The week of...

  • August 5 (35%, 123 Votes)
  • August 12 (27%, 94 Votes)
  • July 29 (17%, 60 Votes)
  • August 19 (9%, 32 Votes)
  • It won't move to PL 5 (7%, 24 Votes)
  • July 22 (2%, 8 Votes)
  • September 2 or after (2%, 7 Votes)
  • August 26 (1%, 4 Votes)

Total Voters: 352

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Sometimes when we’re in PL 4 or 5 the honchos in Washington will distribute a “Moses Letter”, telling regional and local units to Let My People Go so they can go fight fire and save lives.

Exodus 8:1

Then the Lord said to Moses, “Go in to Pharaoh and say to him, ‘Thus says the Lord, “Let my people go, that they may serve me.”

Of course they don’t actually CALL IT a “Moses Letter” and probably won’t quote the Bible if they do send one, but we are in a new norm now, for many reasons.

For bonus points, let us know in the comments if you think the folks in the head shed will send a Moses Letter this year.

Typos, let us know HERE, and specify which article. Please read the commenting rules before you post a comment.

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Author: Bill Gabbert

After working full time in wildland fire for 33 years, he continues to learn, and strives to be a Student of Fire.

9 thoughts on “Poll: Preparedness Level 5 this year?”

  1. Everywhere I have worked has always heeded the Moses letter, especially if it mentions forgiveness in meeting targets. If that’s not in there, the choice of who is available is pretty limited. And yes, there will be a letter this year!

  2. It’s an Election year, and some politicians want to make the case that more timber harvest will mean smaller/cheaper fires, so there will be pressure on Agency heads to write the letter and show visible impacts on Recreation and other Public services.

  3. There’s always a Moses letter but, like the original stone tablets, many people don’t pay attention.

  4. No disrespect intended, but the Moses letter doesn’t carry any weight with any line officer that I know of. At least it hasn’t in the past….

  5. For people like me, it’s going to take more than a “pretty please” letter. The cost of childcare is astronomical, and what I’d be paid on assignment would break even with the cost of exta help at home. I love fire and service to my country, but love and service alone doesn’t pay our mortgage and student loans.

    That said, I highly doubt a “Moses letter” will be sent by our current USFS chief for various reasons.


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