National Wildfire Coordinating Group

Area Commander

ACDR decorative banner: photos depicting ACDR position. ACDR Position Description: Area Command (ACDR) is an expansion of the incident command function. It is designed to manage a very large incident that has multiple IMTs assigned. These teams may be established any time the incidents are close enough that oversight direction is required. This is to ensure that resource allocation conflicts do not arise among the IMTs.

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The Area Commander (ACDR) is responsible for setting priorities for the use of critical resources among multiple Incident Management Teams (IMT) in an assigned area or allocating/reallocating resources during a single, large-scale incident/event. Area Command may be established when oversight direction is required to ensure that resource allocation conflicts do not arise among the IMTs. The Area Commander reports to the Agency Administrator (AA) and works in the Command functional area.

An Area Command organization is normally small with personnel assigned to the Command, Planning, and Logistics functions. Depending on the complexity of the interface between the incidents, specialists in other areas, such as aviation, hazardous materials, environment, and finance, may also be assigned to Area Command.

Area Command Aviation Coordinator (ACAC) Assistant Area Commander, Planning (ACPC) Assistant Area Commander, Logistics (ACLC) Area Commander (ACDR)

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

Jan 2023


  • Incident Commander Complex (ICCI) to "These Positions Maintain Currency for ADCR."
  • Incident Commander Complex (ICCI) and Operations Section Chief Complex (OSCC) to "ACDR Maintains Currency for These Positions."

May 2022

Added:  Planning Section Chief Complex (PSCC) to "Maintains Currency For These Positions".

May 2021

Added: Incident Position Description (IPD) approved.

Oct 2015

Added: Logistics Section Chief Type 1 (LSC1) to Area Commander (ACDR) Maintains Currency for these Positions.

Oct 1999

Added: Required training S-620 – Area Command (32 hrs).

Oct 1984

Position created.


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