7:41 AM a cryptic note was posted on the SWCC Twitter page - "Update: Gladiator AZPNF Type 1 IMT (Reinarz IC) ordered."
Huh? What the heck does that mean? Let's break it down for people that are not in the fire fighting world.
Gladiator AZPNF - that's the Gladiator Fire in Arizona's Prescott National Forest.
Type 1 IMT: That means they've called in a Type 1 Incident Management Team.
(Reinarz IC): That indicates that Joe Reinarz will be the Incident Commander for this fire.
What's the difference between a Type 1 and a Type 2 IMT?
A Type 2 IMT is a federally or state certified team, but it has less training, staffing and experience than the Type 1 IMT. There are 35 Type 2 IMTs in existence, which operate through interagency cooperation between federal, state and local agencies.
Type 1 IMT is also a federally or state certified team; but it is the most robust IMT, with the most training and experience. There are 16 Type 1 IMTs in existence, which operate through interagency cooperation. It's the top of the top. When a fire is really bad, you want a Type 1 IMT called in.
Of course, if a Type 1 IMT is called in, that means the fire is extremely dangerous and serious.
Look up the IMT site; there are links to each of the IMT sites.
Reinarz is out of Williams, AZ, and he is very familiar with Arizona and it's terrain. Reinarz's team worked on the Wallow fire last year, as well as the Las Conchas Fire and the Horseshoe 2 Fire.
Another Incident Commander who is well known in the quad-city area is Tony Sciacca. As a matter of fact, Sciacca was the IC for the last Crown King fire in 2008.
By the way, there is another serious fire burning right now, which has been named the Bull Flat Fire - a Type 2 IMT has been called to intercede there.
AZ Now at PL-3
Here's another cryptic Tweet: "NM-SWC: Due to the increase in activity in AZ, resource commitments, and continued significant fire potential, the SWA is now at PL-3."
NM-SWC: New Mexico, Southwest Center
SWA is now at PL-3: The Southwest Area, which includes Arizona, is now at Preparedness Level 3.
What's a Preparedness Level?
There are 5 stages of Preparedness Levels (PL), with '1' being the lowest, and '5' being the highest. Currently, the nation overall is a '1'. But, Arizona is a '3', due to the increase in fire activity and the fire potential.
I. Minimal large fire activity is occurring nationally. Geographic areas have low to moderate fire danger. Little or no commitment of national resources.
II. Several Geographic areas are experiencing high to extreme fire danger. Minimal mobilization of resources from other communities is occurring. Moderate commitment of national resources with potential to mobilize additional resources from other geographic areas.
III. Two or more geographic areas are experiencing wildland or prescribed fire activities requiring a major commitment of national resources. Additional resources are being ordered and mobilized. Type 1 and Type 2 Incident Management Teams (IMT) are committed in two or more geographic areas, and crew commitment is at 50 percent.
IV. Three or more Geographic Areas experiencing incidents requiring Type 1 and 2 IMTs.
V. Geographic Areas are experiencing major incidents which have the potential to exhaust all agency fire resources. 80 percent of Type 1 & 2 IMTs and crews are committed, as well as the majority of other national resources.