Hurricane Sandy, firefighting resources update, November 1, 2012

The primary mission of these firefighters is debris removal and road clearance for electrical power personnel.

Hurricane Sandy Firefighting Resources Committed as of November 1, 2012 at 0600.


  • Incident Management Team Type 2 (Grant)
  • Two Type 2IA Crews (MI & MN)

New York

  • Three Type 2 Crews
  • Two Type 1 Interagency Hotshot Crews (Cherokee short IHC, and Augusta short IHC)
  • Five 2 person Saw Crews
  • Two Incident Management Team Type 2: (Pisarek) operating at East Farmingdale, and the Maine IMTeam (IC Jeff Currier) operating in Brooklyn.
  • NIMO (National Incident Management Organization) (Quesenberry) assigned to support Nassau County NY.
  • NIMO (Kleinman) assigned to NYC Mob Center in route
  • NIMO (Hahnenberg) assigned to NY State Coordination Center in route

Massachusetts: Fort Devens

  • Incident Management Team Type 2 (Kollmeyer)

Pennsylvania: Harrisburg

  • Incident Management Team Type 1 (Wilder)
  • Two Type 2 crews
  • Five IHC Crews (Fulton, Breckenridge, Los Padres, Palomar, Laguna) arriving 11/1/12

West Virginia: Charleston

  • Type 2 IA Crew

It is interesting that none of the Incident Commanders listed on the web site for the four NIMO teams are participating in this incident. At least one of them, Steve Gage, has moved to another job. There is no way to tell when the web site was last updated. We are checking on this and will have more information later about the NIMO teams.

HERE is a link to a five-minute podcast Jennifer Jones, a Public Affairs Specialist with the USFS in Boise did yesterday with Steve Gage, the new Assistant Director for Operations with the USFS at NIFC, about using IMTeams and fire crews to help with hurricanes and other non-fire emergencies.

Hurricane Sandy, firefighting resources update, October 31, 2012

Here is the latest information we have gathered from the National Interagency Fire Center and the Eastern Area Coordination Center concerning the firefighters and incident management teams that are assisting with the recovery from Hurricane Sandy.

This is a very fluid situation. Some resources are arriving at one location and being reassigned in another state. The list is probably not complete or 100 percent accurate, but it will give you an idea of how wildland firefighters are assisting with the recovery.

Firefighting Resources Committed:


  • Team: one short Type 2 Incident Management Team (Grant), staged at Fort Devens, MA.
  • Crews: two Type-2 IA fire crews (MI and MN); staged at Fort Devens, MA.

New York:

  • Teams: One short Type 1 IMT (Pisarek) is operating a supply depot. Also en route or arrived are three National Incident Management Organization Teams (NIMO) (Quesenberry, Hahnenberg, and Houseman; Dan Kleinman is the IC on the Houseman team)
  • Crews: Cherokee IHC Short Crew, Augusta IHC, and five 2 person Saw Crews
  • Buying Team: one is assigned to work remotely supporting IMTs.


  • Team: one Type 1 IMT (Wilder) at Middletown, PA is operating a mobilization center.
  • Crews: four crews are en route or have arrived in PA (Laguna IHC, Palomar IHC, Los Padres IHC, and Breckenridge IHC) ; two of them will probably be reassigned to NY

HERE is a link to a five-minute podcast Jennifer Jones, a Public Affairs Specialist with the USFS in Boise did yesterday with Steve Gage, the new Assistant Director for Operations with the USFS at NIFC, about using IMTeams and fire crews to help with hurricanes and other non-fire emergencies.

Update on wildfire resources responding to Hurricane Sandy recovery

Since our report yesterday about the wildfire resources being sent to the east coast to assist with the recovery from the impacts of Hurricane Sandy, there has been an increase in the numbers heading east. Yesterday there were 2 Incident Management Teams and 7 crews or portions of crews being mobilized. Today 5 incident management teams and 11 wildfire suppression crews or portions of crews, for a total of more than 200 personnel, are ordered, staged in, or en route to New York, Washington, DC, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and Massachusetts. One of the IMTeams is a National Incident Management Organization, or NIMO team. (We need to come up with a better name for these teams. “National Incident Management Organization Team” is almost as bad a term as “fire for resource benefits”.)

The firefighters ordered, en route, staged, or on scene include:

  • Two interagency hotshot crews, one 20-person Type 2 wildfire suppression hand crew, one 10-person saw crew, and one short Type 2 incident management team (Pisarek) are staged at or en route to Republic Airport, Farmingdale, New York (Long Island). The IMTeam will be operating a supply depot.
  • Two 20-person Type 2 wildfire suppression handcrews are enroute to Washington, DC. A short Type 2 incident management team has been ordered for Washington, DC.
  • Three 20-person Type 2 wildfire suppression handcrews en route to Pennsylvania. A short Type 2 IMTeam has been ordered for Annville, Pennsylvania.
  • The Southwest National Incident Management Organization team (Houseman) has been sent to Lakehurst, New Jersey. Dan Kleinman will be the Incident Commander.
  • Two 20-person Type 2 wildfire suppression hand crews and one short Type 2 incident management team (Grant) staged at Fort Deven, Massachusetts.

I expect that as responders switch from rescue to recovery and are able to gain access to the impacted areas through blocked roads to access the damage, there will be increasing demands for crews and perhaps IMTeams.

Incident Management Teams dispatched for hurricane recovery

Updated at 11:50 a.m. MT, October 29, 2012

Firefighters in the land management agencies have been dispatched to the east coast to be prepared to assist with recovery from the impacts of the mega-storm, Hurricane Sandy.

Incident Management Teams activated

Two short versions of conventional Type 2 IMTeams have been dispatched. Grant’s team from the Eastern Area is pre-positioned at Ft. Devan Mass., and Pisarek’s team from Minn. with 11 people is pre-positioned at Oneida County Airport near Albany, New York.

There is a report that two other teams have been ordered. We will update this article when we have more information.

In addition, two of the National Park Service’s internal Type 2 IMTeams have been activated and staged. The Eastern Region’s team IMT is in Hagerstown, Maryland, and the Midwest Region’s team is in Columbus, Ohio. The NPS has many parks and national monuments along the east coast and in the New York area that are being heavily affected by the storm. More details about the impacts on those facilities today can be found here. Their Morning Report, updated each week day, will have ongoing information.

Crews dispatched

Pre-positioned at Ft. Deven, MA:

  • MN-MFC Type 2 crew
  • MI-HMF/MI-UPC Type 2 crew

Pre-positioned at Oneida County Airport near Albany, NY:

  • MO-MOC Type 2 crew (arriving tonight)

Ordered for or en route to Republic Airport, Farmingdale, NY (Long Island):

  • Augusta IHC
  • Cherokee IHC module
  • 10-person VAF saw crew
  • 20-person crew (TBD)

Federal Emergency Management Agency response

FEMA’s Emergency Support Function (ESF) #4, Firefighting, is the responsibility of the U.S. Forest Service. The agency is the primary link between the interagency wildland fire community, Federal structure-fire-related agencies, and the Department of Homeland Security under the National Response Framework. During disasters and other major emergencies, the USFS coordinates and staffs ESF #4 to be the face of Federal firefighting support to FEMA and other responding agencies.

ESF #4 offices have opened in four locations: FEMA headquarters, FEMA Region I in Maynard, MA, FEMA Region II in Earle, NJ, and FEMA Region III in Philadelphia, PA.

The FEMA blog has more information about how the agency is dealing with the storm.

Information about the hurricane

Here are two Google Maps that provide detailed information:


NY: Minnewaska state park fire update

Posted on Categories WildfireTags

The fire activity on the 3,000 acre fire in Minnewaska state park 40 miles northwest of New York City has decreased significantly over the last two days. Cooler temperatures, higher humidities, and fog have worked in favor of the firefighters.

They have the use of four water-dropping helicopters–two from the NY National Guard and two from the state police, each carrying 100-500 gallons. Personnel and equipment from 30 fire agencies have been assigned to the fire which is 75-80% contained.
The map shows heat sources as detected by satellites within the last 24 hours. This shows much less heat than the map 24 hours earlier.

UPDATE: April 22
The fire acreage has increased to 3,500, primarily due to a 400-acre burnout the firefighters conducted. But other than the burnout, the fire is not increasing in size. They are putting in dozer lines, sometimes up to 100 feet wide on the west side. Today firefighters are calling the fire 100% contained.

NY: Minnewaska state park

Posted on Categories WildfireTags

Two days ago a 30-acre fire about 40 miles northwest of New York City was reported to be under control, but today it spread to over 3,000 acres. Most of the fire is in Minnewaska state park. This is the largest fire in the state park in the last 50 years. Approximately 250 firefighters from 27 local and volunteer departments are working on the fire.

More information from the Daily Freeman:

The 20,000-acre park and part of U.S. Route 44/state Route 55 have remained closed, and over 245 personnel from various state and local agencies were on the scene Saturday, trying to beat back the blaze.

The forest fire is almost entirely contained within the boundaries of the park, but residents of the small Kerhonkson Heights community, which has about 40 homes, were told to prepare for evacuation if necessary, according to Department of Environmental Conservation spokesman Yancey Roy. Although no evacuation order has been issued, firefighters are taking precautions to protect residents.

“We have virtually a fire truck in every driveway,” Roy said.

The fire began Thursday afternoon, and was reportedly contained at about 30 acres that night. But the flames continued to spread, reaching 200 acres Friday afternoon, 1,000 acres Friday night, and 2,300 acres by Saturday morning, according to the state Department of Environmental Conservation.


The map shows heat sources as detected by thermal satellites.