Sho-Pai Wildland Fire & Camp Crews


Photo taken: June 29, 2013


Wildland Organization

National Interagency Fire Center

The Wildland program is funded through the BIA Wildland Fire for preparedness (salaries, supplies, equipment, facilities, engine O&M, etc.) We are a self-governance, compact tribe with a wildland fire cooperative agreement for local, regional and national wildland fire incidents. We employ approximately 40 intermittent firefighters annually as well as camp crew members and 3 drivers. Among the employees we have 4 crew bosses, 6 squad bosses, and 6 intermediate sawyers.

Each fire season SPT Fire Mgmt. runs a Type II / Initial Attack Hand crew and (2) camp crews. One dispatch position is funded to the Elko BLM to work at the local dispatch center per fair share agreement. Sho-Pai Fire Mgmt. follows the qualifications system standard as laid out by the National Wildfire Coordinating Group (NWCG) 310-1 and the BIA Wildland Fire and Aviation Program Management and Operations Guide 2009 (blue book).


Extended Attack

The Wildland Fire and Camp Crews is dispatched through Elko Interagency Dispatch Center for all off-reservation and large scale fires. Our Type 2 IA crew is self-sufficient and usually arrive on local, regional and national incidents within one operational period. With our 4 initial attack crew trucks, we've been able to secure assignments that would not have otherwise been available. We average from 10-15 large fires per season with numerous extensions requested by management teams. The Sho-Pai Firefighters offer a wide variety of expertise, experience and knowledge to the national native fire effort.

Our camp crews have been requested by type 1, 2, & 3 fire management teams due to their excellent evaluations and knowledge of base camp operations. The Sho-Pai Fire and Camp Crews have a long history of hard work ethics, disciplined leadership, and safe, effective operations.

In years past, the crews have been dispatched to Hurricane Katrina, 1988 Yellowstone Fires, and the Tennessee Preposition among numerous wildland incidents across the nation.


Local Fire Suppression

The appropriate management response (AMR) for all wildland fires on the Duck Valley Indian Reservation at present will be full and total suppression which is also based off the Tribes Wildland Fire Management Plan (WFMP). The fire staff briefs daily using local, zone and national situation reports. The following factors will be measured for fire incident response:

  • Firefighter & Public Safety

  • Minimum Cost Tactics

  • Values at Risk

  • Land Resource Objectives & Benefits

  • Minimum Impact Suppression Tactics (MIST)

The AMR will be determined on the fire size, location, weather, WUI, and available resources. The Duck Valley fire season typically starts in April and ends in October . Due to the predominantly flashy fuel types (brush and annual grasses), fire ignitions can escalate into large fires in a short amount of time.


Initial Attack

Sho-Pai Fire Management uses the Incident Command System (ICS) to manage all incidents. ICS provides for a management / organizational structure on incidents that evolve in complexity or increase in size, whether within a few hours or over several days. The initial attack response will be assessed by the initial fire personnel on scene to determine the level of appropriate suppression response (aggressive initial attack or combination of strategies to achieve containment / control). The ICT5 or above will be in command of the incident and all fire factors will be relayed to local dispatch as soon as assessed (temp, wind, topography, slope, fuels, relative humidity, and resource briefing). Local resources responding on or off trust land must be qualified according to the NWCG 310-1 Qualification Guide.