Wildland Fire Information and Technology (WFIT) Support to NWCG Business Needs

NWCG committees, which represent the functional areas of wildland fire management on an interagency and intergovernmental basis, establish information and technology (IT) capability requirements and/or business needs in their mission areas. These IT capability requirements or business needs are communicated through NWCG Coordinators to the NWCG Executive Board and WFIT Program Board. The WFIT Program Board then provides leadership, funding recommendations, and support in turning these requirements into actual IT capabilities through applications, infrastructure, etc.

The portfolio of NWCG IT capability requirements currently in the Idea, Concept, and Development phase of the WFIT lifecycle are provided below. NWCG maintains a full list of applications currently in operation and maintenance, including information on the NWCG Committee or Subgroup(s) responsible for maintaining the associated capability requirements and business needs.

Coordination and questions about the NWCG IT capability requirements portfolio, including progress, next steps, and funding request status, can be directed to Steve Manthei, WFIT Program Manager (steven_manthei@ios.doi.gov), and Katy O’Hara, NWCG Coordinator (Kathryn_ohara@nps.gov) and liaison to WFIT Program Board.

NWCG IT Capability Requirements in the Idea, Concept, or Development Phase (January 2022)

PDF version of this table

NWCG Committee
/Group
IT Capability Requirement WFIT Application Lifecycle Stage
NCSC Fair Share Cost Analysis capability. A standard process to assess workload and budget for dispatch/coordination centers.

Identified as high priority by the NCSC and the IDIP study. Work of a task team supported by NWCG (March 2018) and FMB (April 2018). See project initiation request and draft tasking for more information.
Idea
RMC Risk management capabilities, related to safety reporting. Resolve overlaps, gaps, and inconsistencies. Need to define requirements.

SAFENET Improvements: correcting some language on the website, trying to streamline our posting process and make the “outputs” more useful for RMC to identify emerging issues and trends. 
Idea
IFPC Fire planning capabilities.

See 3 gaps defined, October 2017, updated January 2022.
Idea
ETC Radio use and management capabilities. Idea
FENC National preparedness capabilities.

Integrate NFDRS2016 with other fire management decision support tools into a single national wildland fire preparedness and response decision support capability.
Idea
FENC/NCSC Predictive services capabilities.

See Phase One report, June 2017. FMB Tasking Phase Two is in progress. 
Idea
FENC Fire weather information management capabilities.

See 18 gaps defined, May 2017.
  1. BigFire in Idea phase, pursuing NASA grant.
  2. WindNinja - Microscale wind modeling addressing 7 of the 18 gaps. Currently embedded in WFDSS, IFTDSS, and FlamMap.  See support letter and project initiation request for more information.
  3. WIMS and WFMI collaboration.

(1) Idea

(2) Concept

FMC Fuels Management reporting capabilities.

NFPORS is expiring, leaving a gap in the need to produce joint accomplishment reporting.
Idea
IPSC/TDP Ability to provide materials and capabilities for successful training development and delivery via the Wildland Fire Learning Portal (LMS). 

Development
(WFLP)

DMC Data integration services, with focus on a “data cache.” See NWCG Data Management Strategy, WFIT Data Cache Requirements Document, IFDC Alternatives Analysis, and DMC Recommendations for Data Cache.

DMC is evaluating the use of EDG as the tool to support a Data Cache.
Development
IPSC/TDP Ability to share and manipulate common data across multiple NWCG products (e.g., PSAT, IPD, PTBs, 310-1, training materials).

Ability to manage position standards change processes to include a flow functionality with multiple levels of approvals natively integrated.
Development
(EDG)
DMC: FRSC Fire reporting capability requirements to support FMB’s vision of one event/one report.

See 19 gaps defined, May 2017.
Operation & Maintenance
(INFORM)
NCSC Resource mobilization capabilities.

See IROC Talking Points.
Operations & Maintenance
(IROC)
FMC Fuels management capabilities.

See 6 gaps defined, October 2017, updated January 2022.
See 38 applications evaluated, October 2017.
Development
(IFT-DSS & FTEM)
Applications in the Operation & Maintenance Phase (link to EDG)
 

NWCG Committees

  • Identify the business need and establish the IT capability requirements in their respective mission areas. The goal is to identify the capability or business need and not the application or technology for the solution.
    • The requirement should not read “upgrade FireNet.” It should identify the need to “enhance collaboration.” The WFIT team will then identify the best application or technology needed to meet the requirement.
  • Maintain and/or modify existing IT capability requirements. Changes may require alterations to an existing application or the replacement of one or more applications with a new approach to providing the capability.
  • Jointly with NWCG staff, consolidate and prioritize NWCG-wide IT capabilities each year.
  • Establish and maintain relationships with business subject matter expert responsible for IT applications currently serving the committee’s mission area. Coordinate capability requirements efforts with IT project manager.

Data Management Committee (DMC)

  • Provide support to committees in development of IT capability requirements.

  • Provide support to committees and WFIT for data standards and integration.

NWCG Coordinators & Staff

  • Collect, consolidate, and update IT capability requirements both in development and in operation and maintenance from committees each January.
  • Jointly with NWCG committees, consolidate and prioritize NWCG-wide IT capabilities each year.
  • Inform NWCG Executive Board of new and changing IT capability priorities and request support for presenting the IT Capability Requirement to the WFIT Program Board.

NWCG Executive Board

  • Assess, revise as necessary, and forward NWCG prioritized IT capabilities requirements to Fire Management Board (FMB) annually by March.
  • Support presenting business needs and IT capability requirements to the WFIT Program Board.

Fire Management Board (FMB)

FMB assumed the role of the WFIT Management Activity Board, chartered in 2012, to “provide a forum for senior wildland fire program managers to provide the WFIT Executive Board with information and recommendations regarding requirements, priorities, strategies, policies, and investments for interagency wildland fire investments.”

When FMB meets in the role to support WFIT, it meets as the Information and Technology Advisory Board (ITAB).

  • Provide a mechanism for coordinated and integrated federal wildland fire program management and implementation.
  • Assess, support and forward NWCG prioritized IT capability requirements

WFIT Executive Board

  • Lead and oversee the WFIT program and suite of investments.
  • Provide information and recommendations to the U. S. Forest Service and Department of Interior investment review boards regarding strategies, policies, and investments for interagency wildland fire investments.
  • Represent and advocate for the interest, requirements, and priorities of wildland fire IT, including infrastructure and services necessary to conduct wildland fire business.

Assemble, as appropriate, committee representatives, a DMC representative, NWCG Coordinator, relevant application business lead if you are updating existing applications, and other primary stakeholders to address the following:

  • Purpose and Engagement
    • Develop, validate, modify, or replace capability requirements.
    • Ensure the capability requirements are consistent with the committee/subgroup mission.
    • Identify related capability requirements; seek opportunities to consolidate.
  • Process Management
    • Define roles and expectations for everyone involved.
    • Establish timelines, checkpoints, and completion due dates.
    • Identify and engage other NWCG committees/subgroups who must be involved in vetting the capability requirement.
  • Resources Available

The NWCG provides national leadership to enable interoperable wildland fire operations, including the establishment of IT capability requirements for wildland fire. NWCG operational standards are often enhanced, and sometimes accomplished altogether, by IT processes and applications.  IT capability requirements are statements that define the IT capability needed to achieve a particular standard of practice, product, or service.  Effective IT capability requirements should address the following:

  • Relevance: Is the capability relevant to the NWCG mission? Is it relevant to the committee mission? How will it improve mission effectiveness? What capabilities are needed to provide products or services essential to your mission?
  • Scope: Does the capability benefit field-level wildland firefighters and fire managers? Will it improve national standardization? Will it enhance firefighter safety? Is it national, regional, or local in scope? Is it interagency or agency specific?
  • Purview: Is the capability unique to wildland fire? Does it sensibly fall under the purview of the NWCG?
  • Sustainability: Will the capability have a long-term impact? Will it address a significant and consequential issue or concern, even in the short term?
  • Impact: Is the capability new, a revision of an existing capability, or a replacement of one or more existing capabilities?  What problems does the capability solve?
  • Efficiency: Does the capability reduce data entry, leverage existing information and capabilities, address needs for multiple committees, or reduce costs?
  • Time to impact: When is this capability needed?  When is it likely to be delivered, if funded?
  • Defined Process: Does an existing workflow process exist? Is it still relevant? Is a new defined workflow process needed to support sunsetting existing systems?

 

Page Last Modified / Reviewed: 
2022-09-28