The centers, currently located in Salt Lake City and Reno, are responsible for mobilizing resources for wildland fire, prescribed fire and other all-hazard incidents primarily in Nevada, Utah and southern Idaho, plus small portions of California, Wyoming and Arizona.
The decision to consolidate was made after a study by the participating agencies that examined criteria including the safety of the public and firefighters; providing services at the same or higher level than the two existing organizations; proximity to other offices and an airport; minimal disruption to employees; technological capabilities; and overall efficiency. The consolidation will save about $305,000 a year after one-time moving expenses and will affect up to five employees in Reno, all of whom will be offered positions at the new center.
The coordination centers are two of eleven such organizations throughout the country. The centers also provide intelligence and meteorological products to wildfire personnel. Participating agencies include the states of Nevada, Utah and Idaho; BLM; the Forest Service; Bureau of Indian Affairs; National Park Service; and the Fish and Wildlife Service.
Five options were considered, ranging from status quo to consolidating facilities in Salt Lake City, Reno or Boise.
The target start-up date for the new Great Basin Geographic Area Coordination Center is April 2014.