National Wildfire Coordinating Group

Incident Commander Type 3

ICT3 decorative banner: photos depicting ICT3 position. ICT3 Position Description: The Incident Commander (ICT3) is responsible for all incident activities.

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ICT3 Incident Commander Type 3 Incident Position Description

The Type 3 Incident Commander (ICT3) manages all aspects of an initial attack or extended attack Type 3 incident. The ICT3 is responsible for developing incident objectives, assigning operational personnel based on complexity and span of control, and maintaining accountability of all assigned personnel. The ICT3 is accountable for the overall Incident Action Plan (IAP), establishing communication with internal and external stakeholders, and coordinating with other agencies participating in the incident. The ICT3 reports to an Agency Administrator (AA), Duty Officer, Fire Management Officer, or other designated manager and works in the Command functional area.

​The ICT3 performs position duties commensurate with Type 3 incident complexity and characteristics stated in the Interagency Standards for Fire and Fire Aviation Operations (Red Book).
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Leadership Level 3, Leader of People (Develop Intent)

  • For additional information review Level 3 description, expected behaviors and knowledge, suggested development goals, and self-study opportunities.

Pre-Season Preparation (if applicable)

  • Recruit and roster team prior to assignment.
  • Staff Command and General Staff (C&G) staff positions and assist them in filling out their staffs.
  • Actively engage with staff to recruit individuals that can make appropriate fire season commitment (multiple assignments, etc.).
  • Ensure all team members are engaged in frequent communication and assist if normal job requirements conflict with team commitments.

Prepare and Mobilize

  • Ensure individual readiness for both initial attack and extended attack incidents.
  • Gather critical information pertinent to the assignment and disseminate it to the appropriate personnel.
  • Contact AA, duty officer, or fire management officer and receive in-briefing, the delegation of authority, or any additional pertinent documentation as applicable to the incident.
  • Discuss team configuration and size with requesting agency, if applicable.
  • Establish a method of travel and team arrival time and location, if applicable.
  • Confirm mobilization status of team members and or assigned resources.
  • Travel to the incident and monitor the team’s mobilization status, if applicable.

Build the Team

  • Ensure team configuration, size, and qualifications are commensurate with incident complexity and meets the expectations of the requesting agency. Review the complexity analysis for current and expected conditions.
  • Assemble appropriate team members and receive an in-brief of the current incident status.
  • Establish and communicate organizational structure, the chain of command, and reporting procedures.
  • After the in-brief establish a common operating picture with assigned personnel.
  • Establish effective relationships with relevant personnel such as cooperators, other jurisdictional entities, external, and internal partners, etc.
  • Provide for training opportunities as appropriate.
  • Meet with the AA to accept the assignment and communicate any follow-up issues, if applicable.

Supervise and Direct Work Assignments

  • Implement command decisions and maintain unity of action using common principles of operations.
  • Establish objectives; communicate priorities and expectations based on AA’s direction.
  • Identify, analyze, and use relevant situational information to make informed decisions and take appropriate actions.
  • Develop and implement plans and gain concurrence of affected agencies and/or the public.
  • Continually evaluate whether objectives are achievable given available resources and environmental, political, or socio-economic conditions.
  • Monitor status and support C&G positions.
  • Identify political or agency issues that may impact the team or the incident.
  • Determine the need for cooperator meetings and work with the Liaison Officer (LOFR) to coordinate, if applicable.
  • Establish team meeting schedule based on the tempo of the incident and schedule of deliverables, if applicable.

Perform Incident Commander Type 3-Specific Duties

  • Ensure all assigned resources receive a complete briefing.
  • Ensure suppression operations remain within the scope and capability of the existing organization and that the span of control is consistent with established Incident Command System (ICS) standards.
  • Identify if Unified Command structure is appropriate and engage the involved agencies and/or jurisdictions.
  • Maintain command and control of the incident management organization.
  • Ensure the Incident Status Summary (ICS 209) is current, accurate, and submitted within local dispatch timeframes.
  • Make appropriate decisions based on the analysis of gathered information.
  • Complete a Wildland Fire Risk Complexity Assessment and periodically reevaluate incident complexity to ensure that the incident is managed properly with the right resources.
  • Ensure relevant agency policy, contracts, and agreements are followed and properly administered.
  • Ensure protection of natural, cultural, and other values at risk as designated by an AA, duty officer, fire management officer, or resource advisor.
  • Provide situation update and accomplishments to the AA, dispatch, and/or duty officer.
  • Identify and anticipate operational and logistical needs and request additional resources and/or replacements as needed.
  • Monitor Fire Weather and communicate the current forecast and any changes to all incident personnel.
  • Consider smoke impacts to sensitive areas.
  • Ensure transfer of command is communicated to the host unit dispatch and all incident personnel.
  • Ensure incident financial accountability and expenditures meet agency policy and standards.
  • Account for all assigned resources.

Initial Attack:

  • Identify oneself as the Incident Commander and take command of the incident.
  • Clearly and professionally communicate intent to assigned personnel.
  • Develop and implement tactics based on incident objectives, fire behavior, weather forecast, and risk assessment.
  • Organize and deploy assigned resources based on established objectives and resource capabilities.
  • Assign personnel to collect, document, and report weather observations.
  • Use tools and applications to gather information, navigate the incident, and produce fire-related geo-spatial products.
  • Coordinate wildland urban interface (WUI) operations with local law enforcement, local fire departments, and other agencies authorized to implement public evacuation, perform structure protection, control traffic, and road closures.
  • Develop a plan with the appropriate structure to assist operations and support functions in the transition into Extended Attack mode if/when necessary. 
  • Coordinate travel to and from fireline (e.g., travel routes, communication procedures, accountability). Ensure adherence to vehicle safety procedures. Identify ingress and egress routes. Consider bridge and road limits, equipment weight and length, and weather effects.
  • Provide status updates on conditions affecting operations, hazardous conditions, unresolved conflicts, air operations, etc. to dispatch and duty officer.
  • Report special occurrences (e.g., structure/improved property loss or damage, accidents, sickness) to dispatch and duty officer.
  • Provide situation update and accomplishments to dispatch and/or relief forces at the end of shift or at completion of assignment.

Extended Attack:

  • Provide oversight for all C&G responsibilities and functions, regardless of team configuration or size.
  • Participate in any conference calls or meetings as established by agencies.
  • Review and approve the IAP for accuracy and completeness.
  • Schedule and attend community meetings as needed.
  • Ensure incident financial accountability and expenditures meet agency policy and standards.
  • Coordinate interdependent activities with stakeholders and cooperators involved in incident activities.
  • Complete a daily review of the Delegation of Authority, complexity analysis, and communicate status with AA.
  • Approve press releases as directed from the Delegation of Authority.

Communicate and Coordinate

  • Follow established processes and chain of command for collecting, producing, and distributing information. 
  • Ensure a clear understanding of expectations and timely communication within and across Incident Command System (ICS) functional areas and chain of command.
  • Obtain regular updates from subordinates and/or C&G.
  • Establish communications and exchange necessary briefings/information with the following:
    • Cooperating and Assisting resources
    • Adjacent incidents
    • AA
    • Dispatch and Coordinating centers/agencies
    • Duty Officer(s)
  • Communicate effectively using multichannel radios. Prepare and program radios for assignment. Use plain language and ICS terminology.
  • Conduct After Action Reviews (AAR).

Manage Risk

  • Apply the Risk Management Process as stated in the NWCG Incident Response Pocket Guide (IRPG), PMS 461:
    • Identify Hazards
    • Assess Hazards
    • Develop Controls and Make Risk Decisions
    • Implement Controls
    • Supervise and Evaluate
  • Ensure Lookouts, Communications, Escape Routes, and Safety Zones (LCES) are established and known to all firefighters before they are needed. Refer to the guidelines stated in IRPG.
  • Apply the Standard Firefighting Orders and Watch Out Situations to your assignment, as stated in the IRPG.
  • Use Look Up, Down and Around in the IRPG to help maintain situational awareness. Adjust actions accordingly. Develop and communicate contingency plans and trigger points.
  • Plan for medical emergencies. Ensure assigned resources are prepared to execute the Medical Plan (ICS 206 WF). Ensure familiarity with medical responders, communication procedures, and the transportation plan. Manage the medical emergency based on procedures stated in the IAP, Medical Incident Report, or other relevant guidelines.
  • Monitor for signs and symptoms of fatigue, illness, or injury. Mitigate appropriately.
  • Submit accident/incident reports with pertinent forms (SAFECOM, SAFENET, agency-specific forms) through the established chain of command.
  • Ensure safety receives priority consideration in all incident activities and the safety and welfare of all incident personnel and the public are maintained.
  • Ensure work/rest policy and guidelines are managed for assigned personnel.
  • Set measurable objectives to minimize the level of risk while achieving the highest probability of success.
  • Ensure risk management processes are maintained throughout the incident.
  • Monitor daily strategic progress and modify objectives for risk versus value.


  • Ensure all documentation is complete.
  • Ensure all original documents are provided to the host unit at the conclusion of the incident or transferred to the incoming IC if a transition occurs.
  • Maintain documentation of significant decisions.
  • Complete Incident Personnel Performance Rating (ICS 225 WF) for all C&G, if applicable.
  • Complete Crew Time Report (CTR), SF-261 (Watch: How to correctly fill out a CTR).


  • Plan for demobilization. Brief assigned resources on demobilization procedures and individual responsibilities. Ensure incident and agency demobilization procedures are followed.
  • Communicate and recommend demobilization timeline to host unit or AA, if applicable.
  • Assist agency with complexity analysis in a timely manner to facilitate an appropriate transfer of command.
  • Return equipment and supplies to appropriate units and/or provide inventory and location of equipment and supplies to incoming IC.
  • During the transfer of command:
    •  Ensure continuity of operations.
    • Exchange critical safety information.
    • Communicate transfer of authority through the established chain of command.
  • Anticipate potential resource needs for the incoming organization.
  • Ensure turn back standards provided by the hosting units/jurisdictions are completed and/or addressed.
  • Ensure team members and/or incident personnel travel after appropriate rest.


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