National Wildfire Coordinating Group

organization in the United States responsible for national interagency wildland fire operations

The National Wildfire Coordinating Group (NWCG) was formed in the United States as a result of the aftermath of a major wildfire season in 1970. The 1970 fire season underscored the need for a national set of training and equipment standards which would be standardized across the different agencies. NWCG included representatives from the United States Forest Service, the Bureau of Land Management, the National Park Service, the Bureau of Indian Affairs, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, and the National Association of State Foresters. After a series of meetings in the early 1970s, the NWCG was officially chartered by the Secretaries of the Interior and Agriculture in 1976. Among the notable results of the NWCG has been the adoption of the Interagency Fire Qualifications Rating system, more commonly known among firefighters as the "red card" qualification system; the establishment of the series of training classes associated with the red card system (such as the basic wildland fire course, S-130/S-190); the establishment of an interagency fire training center at Marana, Arizona; the publication of training manuals such as the Fireline Handbook; and the Resource Ordering Status System. NWCG was formed independently of two other programs which also formed in the 1970s out of the need for greater interagency coordination: the Boise Interagency Fire Center (now the National Interagency Fire Center), and the FIRESCOPE program in southern California.
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