National Wildfire Coordinating Group

Planning Section Chief Type 3*

PSC3 decorative banner: photos depicting PSC3 position.

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The Planning Section Chief Type 3 (PSC3) manages all aspects of incident planning, situation and resource status, and demobilization of an incident. The PSC3 supervises members of the Planning section and may perform all functions of various positions in that section dependent upon incident complexity and assigned resources. The PSC3 is part of the Command and General (C&G) and reports to the Incident Commander (IC) under typical incident organizations. The PSC3 works in the Planning functional area.

The PSC3 performs position duties commensurate with Type 3 incident complexity and characteristics stated in the Interagency Standards for Fire and Fire Aviation Operations (Red Book). (Type 1, 2 and 3 PSC duties are identical but performed at different complexity levels.)

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


  • Planning Section Chief Complex (PSCC) to "These Positions Maintain Currency For PSC3."
  • Planning Section Chief Complex (PSCC) to "PSC3 Maintains Currency For These Positions."

Dec 2020

Added: Incident Position Description (IPD) approved.

Oct 2019

Added: Qualification Requirements:  Note: Once qualified as SITL, RESL, or ICT3, the PSC3 qualification may be granted by the certifying official. Certification must be documented on a “verification/certification” page of the PSC3 Position Task Book (PMS 311-55).

Oct 2018

Added: Type 3 All-Hazard Incident Management Team (O-305) to Other Training Which Supports Development of Knowledge and Skills.

Oct 2016

Added: Introduction to ICS (ICS-100) and NIMS: An Introduction (IS-700) to Required Training.

Oct 2015

Updated:  footnote language:

The Planning Section Chief Type 3 (PSC3) position is also utilized in the DOI All Hazard Qualification System. The FEMA All Hazard Planning Section Chief PTB is appropriate for use with this position and is available on the NWCG website.

Oct 2014

Position created.

Type 3 Position standards are being introduced to provide an agreed to minimum standard for National Mobilization and to help develop local capability.  Currently the PSC3, LSC3, and FSC3 positions are utilized by FEMA and the Department of the Interior All Hazard qualification program.

NWCG recognizes the ability of cooperating agencies at the local level to jointly define and accept each other’s qualifications for initial attack, extended attack, large fire operations, and prescribed fire.

Position qualification pathways for the LSC3PSC3, and FSC3 positions include both equivalency and position task book alternatives for position qualification.   FEMA position task books will be utilized for these positions and are available at


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