National Wildfire Coordinating Group

Infrared Interpreter

IRIN decorative banner: photos depicting IRIN position.  IRIN Position Description: The Infrared Interpreter (IRIN) directs infrared mapping operations when assigned.

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An Infrared Interpreter (IRIN) is responsible for interpreting infrared (IR) imagery from National Infrared Operations (NIROPS) sensors to determine the heat perimeter of fires. They produce GIS-ready files, GIS layers, geo-referenced PDF maps, KMZs, and logs. The IRIN works remotely and often independently but reports to the Situation Unit Leader (SITL). If no SITL is assigned, the IRIN reports to the Plans Section Chief (PSC) for a Type 1, 2, or 3 fire. For a Type 4 fire, the IRIN reports to the Fire Management Officer (FMO) or Assistant Fire Management Officer (AFMO). The IRIN works in the Planning functional area.

The Forest Service and Department of Interior are enabled by Administratively Determined Pay Plans (AD Pay Plans) to hire persons for temporary duration for the following reasons:

  1. To cope with a sudden and unexpected emergency caused by a fire, or extreme fire potential, flood, storm, or any other all-hazard emergency that threatens damage to federally protected property, has the potential to cause loss of life, serious injury, public health risk, or damage to natural or cultural resources unless brought under immediate control.
  2. To provide emergency assistance to States under formalized agreements.
  3. To meet mission assignments issued by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA).

The National Wildfire Coordinating Group (NWCG) Incident Business Committee (IBC) reviews positions annually and establishes pay rate classifications for each position.

For more information on the AD Pay Plans, go to

Jun 2022

Added: Incident Position Description (IPD) approved.

Oct 2012

Added: Infrared Interpreter (IRIN) position to transition plan.

Oct 1993

Position created.


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