IRWIN Project Background
In today's environment, data is entered into many unique systems. Often, basic fire information, like location, size, environmental conditions, and resources, is repeatedly entered into stand-alone systems as a foundation for their capabilities. As conditions change over the life of an incident, more timely and accurate information is entered into operational systems, while the original, outdated data remains in the supporting systems. Users tend to query systems they are most familiar with and consequently, may not be accessing the most up to date data available.
An example is the location of a fire (latitude/longitude). A 2008 interagency efficiency report identified that an interagency dispatcher may enter this piece of data up to 26 times in different systems. Once the dispatcher has received what is needed from each system, they do not go back and update each system when better location information becomes available.
When questions arise about individual fires, there are often multiple answers depending upon which data source is queried for the answer. While all of the answers may be valid in their specific context, there is no authoritative data source for a consistent answer. This presents a challenge for both the interagency fire community and line management at all levels of fire management agencies and departments.
Multiple studies and analysis over the years have identified a need for a more integrated approach to managing wildland fire occurrence data. These analyses include but are not limited to:
- National Interagency Fire Statistics Information Project (NIFSIP), September 1998
- Fire Statistics Task Group Proposal to NWCG, August 2003
- Report of the eGov Disaster Management Task Group to the National Fire and Aviation Executive Board, March 2006
- Fire Occurrence Reporting System (FORS) Study for the National Fire and Aviation Executive Board, February 2007
- National Wildland Fire Enterprise Architecture Blueprint, Version 2.0, July 2008
- Management Efficiency Assessment of the Interagency Wildland Fire Dispatch and Related Services, August 2008