Wildland Fire Management

Wildland fire management in Colorado is an interagency partnership among local, state and federal agencies across the nation. As a lead state agency, the Colorado Division of Fire Prevention and Control (DFPC) works with local, state, and federal agencies to coordinate wildland fire management on a statewide basis.  Wildland fire crosses jurisdictional boundaries and exceeds the capabilities of individual agencies, which necessitates a cooperative, interagency approach for successful and effective wildland fire management.   Our priority mission is to provide support, service, and assistance in addition to filling needed gaps for counties and local fire agencies. 

DFPC represents the State of Colorado and our partners on numerous multi-state and national level committees and work groups.  Through our Wildland Fire Management Section (WFMS), DFPC provides a variety of programs and services in wildfire preparedness and planning, suppression and response, as well as prescribed fire management.  


Vaughn Jones: Section Chief, Wildland Fire Management Section

Phillip Daniels: Deputy Chief, Wildland Fire Management Section

Wildfire Program Framework

A strong Preparedness program is a foundation for successful wildland fire management, which is accomplished through our Fire Management Officers and other staff.  The basis of our programs is a series of agreements with county, state, and federal agencies, which provide the authorities and framework for successful cooperative, interagency wildfire management.  FMOs facilitate and coordinate multi-agency planning; dispatching and response for wildfire incidents, including county and state level Annual Operating Plans. 

DFPC provides assistance and support for wildland fire training and qualifications, including the administration of the Incident Qualification System (IQS) and facilitating entry of county and local fire agencies into the Resource Ordering and Status System (ROSS).  Allow these resources to participate in the National Response Plan and be available for incidents in Colorado and across the country if needed.

Response and Incident Management

Focus of program is on early detection and reporting of fires, and rapid initial attack on those fires than need suppressed.  DFPC accomplishes this with a variety of resources and programs:

  • Multi-Mission Aircraft (MMA): 2 fixed wing aircraft based in Centennial.  Detection, extended surveillance and support, and all-hazard at times
  • Helicopter: DFPC may contract for up to 4 helicopters.  DFPC currently has a Type 3 with Helitack crew in Canon City, a Type 3 with Helitack crew in Montrose, and a Type 2 restricted (bucket) only in Boulder.  They perform a variety of tasks including recon, transport of personnel and supplies, and water delivery
  • Single Engine Air Tankers SEATs: DFPC may contract for up to 4 helicopters.  We currently have 2 that are pre-positioned around the State based on fire indices and activity. 
  • DFPC Engines and Squads: DFPC has 7 engines and 1 squad at multiple locations around the state.  Support and assist local and federal agencies when requested.  Also perform a variety of training, fuels management, prescribed fire, and other fire program functions
  • FMOs: Fire Management officers (FMO) provides technical support and assistance on ordering of resources, tactics, and management of incidents to local fire agencies and county Sheriffs
  • Emergency Fire Fund (EFF), WERF, and Colorado Firefighting Air Corps (CFAC) funding

Prescribed Fire Management