Document Author

Erik Litzenbert



These comments were not organized in any particular fashion. They were written down when heard from the participants. As little paraphrasing as possible has been done to the original comments (but my hands could only move so fast). Scenarios were provided in order to jog your memory; many of the same comments were heard during multiple scenarios but only included in one to save my writing hand. Sorry if this offends anyone. It’s all for the sake of learning and getting better.



In attendance:

SFCSO – Greg Solano

SFCFD – Milt Moomaw, Kimmet Holland, Jane McSweeney, Sten Johnson, Jim Lovell,

Mike Neely, Reed Shelton, Hank Blackwell, Bill McSweeney, John Wheeler, Stan Holden

SFFD – Ed Rael, Wayne Mueller, Carlos Nava, Chris Rivera, Randy Neumann, Gerald

Mendez, Mark Marquez, Shelley Rossbach, Erik Litzenberg, Porfirio Chavarria

RECC – David Archuleta, Daniel Segura, Jeanete R Sandoval, Jovannah Sandoval,

Becky Martinez

NMSF – Steve Mullis

USFS – Tom Johnston, Lawrence Garcia, Nando Lucero, David Isackson, Pat Velasco

SF OEM – Martin Vigil

Redfish Group – Josh Thorp, Owen Densmore, Stephen Guerin



Scenario 1:

Basic description – structure fire extending into wildland urban interface (WUI)

Summary of actions – Initially response as to structure fire, requested second alarm,

aggressive initial search changed to defensive, Wildland Level 1 activation.


Easy to be overwhelmed early

Activate Wildland Level 1, putting it on “standby” will just confuse things

Law enforcement should be requested early to facilitate movement of people

If evacuation is probable we need a pre-plan. Is there a plan…probably not

There’s a fine line between single agency response and multi-agency needs

Once focus was gained it was clearer what needed to be done

It would be helpful for RECC to be involved from the beginning for organization



Scenario 2:

Basic description – Brush Level response in WUI.

Summary of actions – Initial page, once on scene quickly asked for regional tone, then

quickly upgraded to Wildland Level 1 and subsequently Wildland Level 2 response. E602 self dispatched and was used as resource by IC. Sheriff dispatched to assist with evacuations and perimeter control.


            Easy to be overwhelmed by growing response, span of control the key

            Air resources were ordered, but not confirmed to NMSF. All air resources

requested by SFCFD will be double checked by Santa Fe Zone through NMSF before ordering per Ops Plan

            Scenario paused and group refocused



Scenario 3:

Basic description – Scenario 2 continued after pause and refocus

Summary of actions – ICP clearly established, NIMS terminology used to reorganize

with A,B,D Divisions, Ops Section Chief added, Staging Area manager added, SF OEM activated, eventually IC was turned over to ICT3 from NMSF, air resources ordered and fire attack more aggressively, Type 3 IMT 45 minutes out.


            The span of control was much better

            Communications began once the reorganization took effect

            Thins seemed busier but more organized

            Command should have been handed to ICT3 earlier

            Smooth transition to Type 3 IMT would occur due to solid organization

            ICT3 helped, a Type 3 IMT would help even more

            Air resources were worked well once the connection with NMSF was made

            RECC would need to work closely with Santa Fe Zone if this were real

            Everyone should know the Ops Plan

            ICP and Staging were clearly established 

            The more established command structure worked well

            Visual props such as IMT vests were helpful to keeping organized



Scenario 4:

Basic description – Fire in the forest coming into Santa Fe City and County.

Summary of actions – IC established, engaged available resources, asked for additional

air resources, secured communications, activated Wildland Level 2 response, requested Santa Fe City and County duty officers to report to ICP, requested Type 3 IMT, requested evacuations, met with duty officers to organize, initiated coordinated attack using NIMS.


            Report from IC was great

            Groups brought together for briefings well

            Relatively well organized, with City and County comprising separate divisions

            Staging was secured

            IC communicated well to incoming and utilized resources

            ICS/NIMS/visual props essential for scene management

            Emergency management brings a lot of federal and state resources, activate early

            Remember the Farber, it helps with unified command

            Remember the capabilities and limitations of RECC and Santa Fe Zone

            Priority has always got to be safety, us then the public

            Communication of strategies and tactics is essential

            Whether to engage or disengage had got to be dictated by safety and values at risk

            Staging is good for accountability

            Know your own capabilities and those of your crews, communicate problems

            IC can only be in one place, set up the system to spread your umbrella of control

            RECC wants to work with Santa Fe Zone to make seamless communications

            Air resource comments:

USFS tries not to fly buckets over people

A ground contact is essential

Air Attack is like an air traffic controller once established

In WUI, rotor wings are rare, fixed wing more likely (SEAT)

            Evacuation comments:

                        SF Rodeo Grounds is automatic reporting location

                        Red Cross will be at Rodeo for registration

                        Animals can be brought, there will be vets, food, water

                        VOAD, Salvation Amy, Food Depot, amateur radio will be activated

                        All of this can take weight off the IC/IMT