Current Wildland Fire Frequencies in California

es93546

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The California pages have a lot of posts where people are sharing and many asking what frequencies are being used on the many fires going around the state. I did some research and found comm plans for many of the fires. What I post here might be duplicates of what others have shared, many who have done searches near these fires. It might be helpful to post the comm plans I have.

In alphabetical order:

CA-BTU/TGU Complex

Butte Zone

1 Command CDF Command 1--151.3550/159.3000 T3 131.8 Bloomer Mtn. input, Tone 8 103.5 output All Divisions
2 Command Butte CMD--154.4150/159.0000 T4 136.5 input, Tone 2 123.0 Output All Divisions
3 Tactical CDF Tac 24--151.3325 T16 192.8 TX RX Divisions AA/GG
4 Tactical CDF Tac 29-- 151.3475 T16 192.8 TX RX Division WW
5 Tactical CDF Tac 30--151.3925 T16 192.8 TX RX Division HH
6 Tactical CDF Tac 32--151.2425 T16 192.8 TX RX Division PP
7 Tactical V Fire 23--154.295 T6 156.7 Division SS
14 Air to Ground CDF Tac 18--159.345 TX RX All Divisions
15 Medical Calcord--156.0750 T16 192.8 TX RX All Divisions
16 Air Guard--168.6250 T1 110.9 TX RX All Divisions

There are two more zones, I need to take a break right now.
 

es93546

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Moving on in the same complex:

Glen Zone

1 Command CDF CMD 7--151.460/159.3900 RX Tone 8 - 103.5, TX Tone 1 -110.9
4 Tactical CDF Tac 28--151.1825 RX TX Tone 16 - 192.8 Divisions BB CC Branch XX
5 Tactical CDF 29--151.3475 RX TX Tone 16 - 192.8 Division WW Branch XXV
14 Tactical CDF Tac 15--159.2700 RX TX Tone 16 -192.8 All Divisions
15 Medical Calcord--156.0750 RX TX Tone 6 -156.7
16 Air Guard--168.6250 TX Tone Only T1 - 110.9

Tehama Zone

1 Command-CDF CMD 7--151.4600/159.3900 RX Tone 8 - 103.5 RX , TX Tone 1 -110.9 All Divisions
4 Tactical CDF Tac 1--151.2527 (Yup, no typo, that is what it shows on the plan. HUAAA?) Tone 16 -192.8 RX TX Division C
5 Tactical CDF Tac 30--151.3925 RX TX Tone 16 - 192.8 Division G
6 Tactical V Fire 26--154.3025 RX TX Tone 6 - 156.7 Division Q
14 Tactical CDF Tac 15--159.2700 RX TX Tone 16 - 192.8 All Divisions
15 Medical Calcord--156.075 RX TX Tone 6 -156.7 All Divisions
16 Air Guard--168.6250 TX only Tone 1 - 110.9

All Zones (including the Butte Zone in my previous post

Air Tactics--164.1375
Air to Air Victor--126.875
Air to Ground Tactical--159.270 RX TX Tone 16 - 192.8
Air to Ground Command--151.4600/159.2700 RX Tone 8 -103.5, TX Tone 1 -110.9
Deck 163.1000
Calcord--156.0750 RX TX Tone 6 -156.7
Air Guard--168.6250 TX only Tone 1 -110.9
 

es93546

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CZU Lightning Complex

I'll start with the Air Operations Summary this time instead of placing it at the bottom.

All Complex Air Ops

Air to Ground Tactical--159.3150 TX Only Tone 16 - 192.8
Air to Air Rotary Wing Victor--135.325
Air Tactics--168.7375 (I don't see this in the unassigned R5 Air Tactics pool, so it must be one of those from the unused federal frequency pool)
Calcord-156.0750 RX TX Tone 6 - 156.7
Air Guard--168.6250 TX only Tone 1 - 110.9

1 Command CDF CMD 2--151.2650/159.330 RX Tone 8 - 103.5, TX Tone 9 - 100.0 Loma South Zone
2 Command CDF CMD 2--151.2650/159.3300 RX Tone 8 - 103.5, TX Tone 10 - 107.2 Chalk Mtn. North Zone
3 Command CDF CMD 2--151.2650/159.3300 RX Tone 8 - 103.5, TX Tone 11 - 114.8 Copernicus
4 Command CDF CMD 2--151.2650/159.3300 RX Tone 8 - 103.5, TX Tone 12 -127.3 To Be Announced
5 Tactical NIFC Tac 1--168.0500 RX TX Tone 4 - 136.5 Divisions A/C
6 Tactical NIFC Tac 5--166.7250 RX TX Tone 4 - 136.5 Divisions E/G
7 Tactical NIFC Tac 6--166.7750 RX TX Tone 4 - 136.5 Division K
8 Tactical NIFC Tac 7--168.2500 RX TX Tone 4 - 136.5 Unassigned
9 Tactical V Fire 26--154.3025 RX TX Tone 4 - 136.5 Division RR
10 Tactical CDF Tac 26--159.2925 RX TX Tone 16 - 192.8 Division TT
11 Tactical CDF Tac 27--159.3075 RX TX Tone 16 - 192.8 Division WW
12 Tactical CDF Tac 30--151.2950 RX TX Tone 16 - 192.8 Division ZZ
13 Tactical CDF Tac 31--159.3925 RX TX Tone 16 - 192.8 Division Contingency Group (My note, often called an incident within an incident)
14 Medical Calcord--156.0750 RX TX Tone 6 - 156.7 All Branches
15 Air to Ground CDF Tac 17--159.3150 RX TX Tone 16 - 192.8 All Branches
16 Air Guard--168.6250 TX Tone 1 + 110.9
20 (My note, same as 16, but for radios with a 20 channel per group capacity. It's always put in the last channel of any group.)

With that this old guy (69 + 8 months) needs to lay down for an afternoon nap. More later.
 

mlangeveld

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es93546

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I really got sucked up by some other matters. I will continue.

LNU Lightning Complex

All Complex Air Operations

Air Tactics East--171.0375
Air Tactics West--165.000
Air to Air Rotary East--120.175
Air to Air Rotary West--125.925
Air to Air Briefing--118.6250
Air to Ground East CDF Tac 25--159.2725, RX TX Tone 16 - 192.8
Air to Ground West CDF Tac 24--151.3325, RX TX Tone 16 - 192.8
Take Off and Landing Control--123.025
Deck--163.1000
Calcord Medical--156.07500, RX TX Tone 6 - 156.7
Airguard Emergency Only--168.6250, TX Tone 1 - 110.9

Branch X, XX

1 Command NIFC CMD 12--173.0375/167.3250, RX TX Tone 2 - 123.0 East and West Zone Branch XX, XL Location St. Helena
2 Command NIFC CMD 2--170.4500/168.1000, RX TX Tone 2 - 123.0 West Zone Branch X Location Jackson
3 Command CDF CMD 8--151.4450/159.3450, RX TX Tone 2 - 123.0 East and West Zone Branch XX, XL Location Vaca
4 Command NIFC CMD 9--170.0125/165.2500, RX TX Tone 2 - 123.0 East and West Zone Branch XXX, XL Location Berryessa
5 Command NIFC CMD 26--172.5500/164.8625 RX TX Tone 2 - 123.0 West Zone Branch X Location Oak Ridge

All the above lines have the note " All NIFC Commands are linked together" I wonder if this includes the CDF CMD 8 repeater?

6 Blank
7 Tactical CDF Tac 26--159.2925, RX TX Tone 16 - 192.8 Branch X, Divisions A & B Wallbridge
8 Tactical CDF Tac 27--159.3075, RX TX Tone 16 - 192.8 Branch X, Divisions D & F Wallbridge
9 Tactical CDF Tac 28--151.1825, RX TX Tone 16 - 192.8 Branch X, Division I (Eye) Meyers
10 Tactical V Tac 14--159.4725, RX TX Tone 6 - 156.7 Branch XX, Division SS Hennessey
11 Tactical V Fire 24--154.2725, RX TX Tone 6 - 156.7 Branch XX, Division TT Hennessey
12 Tactical V Fire 25--154.2875, RX TX Tone 6 - 156.7 Branch XX, Division UU Hennessey
13 Medical Calcord--156.0750, RX TX Tone 6 - 156.7 Incident Wide
14 Tactical CDF Tac 24--151.3325, RX TX Tone 16 - 192.8 West Zone, Branch X
15 Blank
16 Emergency NIFC Air Guard-168.6250, TX Tone 1 - 110.9 Emergency Use Only

Branch XXX, XL

1-5 Same as above
6 Tactical V Fire 26--154.3025, RX TX Tone 6 - 156.7 Branch XL, Division CC
7 Tactical NIFC Tac 1--168.0500, [no tone shown, but likely T2-123.0] Branch XL, Division GG Hennessey
8 Tactical NIFC Tac 3--168.6000, RX TX Tone 2 - 123.0 Branch XL Division KK Hennessey
9 Tactical NIFC Tac 5--166.7250, RX TX Tone 2 - 123.0 Branch XL, Division MM Hennessey
10 Tactical V Tac 14--159.4725, RX TX Tone 6 - 156.7 Branch XXX, Division WW Hennessey
11 Tactical V Fire 24--154.2725, RX TX Tone 6 - 156.7 Branch XXX, Division ZZ Hennessey
12 Tactical CDF Tac 30--151.3925, RX TX Tone 16 - 192.8 Branch XL, Firing Group
13 Medical Calcord--156.0750, RX TX Tone 6 - 156.7 EMS Coordination
14 Air to Ground CDF Tac 25--159.2725, RX TX Tone 16 - 192.8
15 Blank
16 Emergency NIFC Air Guard-168.6250, TX Tone 1 - 110.9 Emergency Use Only

Offhand, I don't know what the Hennessey, etc. notes are on the right side, maybe individual fires?

Whew!! I think that might be the most complex comm plan I've ever seen. It has extensive use of NIFC Commands and Tacs, including one of the Tac 5-7 group, which used to be the BLM's old national cache set. It has NIFC commands (with Commands 8, 9 & 12 being on the federal VHF Incident Response Group); NIFC Command 26, which is a frequency assigned from the local "federal unused frequencies in the area" one time assignment group); NIFOG V Tacs; Cal Fire Command 8 and several tacs, several V Fire frequencies, CALCORD; and of course, National Air Guard for emergencies. Not only that, but likely a Cal Fire Command tied in with several NIFC Commands into a 5 channel multicast command net. Not mentioned is that NIFC command linking federal UHF frequencies are likely involved and we don't know if NIFC federal UHF Camp Nets. NIFC federal UHF logistics repeaters and NIFC federal UHF remote base linking for VHF AM Aviation frequencies have been deployed. The Air Operation Summary shows 7 Type I helitankers and 8 other helos, two of which might be Type I helitankers as well. I'm not going to research the make and model of each ship to figure out the type of each of these ships. I think 3 of the helitankers are National Guard Ships. There are aviation overhead positions labeled "AOBD, ASGS, HEBM, ATGS (2) and HLCO." These stand for: AOBD, Air Operations Branch Director; ASGS, Air Support Group Supervisor; HEBM, Helibase Manager; and HLCO, Helicopter Coordinator Boss.

I'm keeping a copy of the entire Incident Action Plan (IAP) for this one. It is the most complex IAP I've ever seen, although I've only been on 108 fires as a USFS employee and 2 as a Sheriff's Department RACES team member. I was in southern California during some Santa Ana wind events on a handful of fires and Yellowstone in 1988, but I kick myself for not keeping just one of the IAP's I had in my hands during my 6 months there. I was on the North Fork Fire, the largest of the complex. The only thing I'm not seeing here is the use of any of the National Area Command Teams. The feds would have done it for this many large fires, but I think Cal Fire is not wanting to hand over control of all of these fires/complexes to a federal team, although Cal Fire probably has members on one of those four teams. Oh lord, I just can't seem to get fire out of my blood. I'm very sad for the people who have lost their homes and those terrified during some close calls during evacuations.

One more complex to list.
 

es93546

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SCU Lightning Complex

All Complex Air Operations

Air to Ground Tactical Deer--159.2700, RX TX Tone 16 - 192.8
Air to Ground Tactical Calaveras--159.3750 RX TX Tone 16 - 192.8
Air to Ground Tactical Canyon--151.3775, RX TX Tone 16 - 192.8
Air to Air Rotary Deer--133.025
Air to Air Rotary Calaveras--135.025
Air to Air Rotary Canyon--120.775
Air to Air Tactics--169.2875
Take Off and Landing Control--123.025
Deck--163.1000
CALCORD Medical--156.0750, RX TX Tone 6 - 156.7
National Air Guard--168.6250 TX Tone 1 - 110.9 Emergency Only

Air Ops include 3 Type I Helitankers, One Type II Helitanker and 2 Type III Helos for crew transportation, recon and bucket work. Overhead positions filled are the Air Operations Branch Director, Air Support Group Supervisor, Helibase Manager and Helicopter Coordinator Boss.

Canyon Zone

1 Blank
2 Command NIFC CMD 3--170.4250/168.0750, RX TX Tone 3 - 131.8 Mt Oso ALL COMMANDS LINKED
3 Command NIFC CMD 10--170.4125/165.9625, RX TX Tone 3 - 131.8 Mt Diablo
4 Command NIFC CMD 11--170.6875/166.5750, RX TX Tone 3 - 131.8 Mt Allison
5 Command NIFC CMD 38--172.6750/163.0750 RX TX Tone 3 - 131.8 Loma Prieta Peak
6 Blank
7 Tactical CDF Tac 31--159.3825, RX TX Tone 16 - 192.8 Branch XII
8 Tactical V Tac 14--159.4725, RX TX Tone 6 - 156.7 Branch XV Divisions I & J
9 Tactical V Fire 23--154.295, RX TX Tone 6 - 156.7 Branch XV Divisions K & L
10 Tactical V Fire 24--154.2725, RX TX Tone 6 - 156.7 Branch XV Divisions M & N
11-13 Blank
14 Air to Ground CDF Tac 13-151.3775, RX TX Tone 16 - 192.8 All Branches
15 Medical CALCORD--156.0750, RX TX Tone 6 - 156.7 All Branches
16 Emergency National Air Guard**--168.6250 TX Tone 1 - 110.9

** For some unknown reason, the alphanumeric name of this is shown "Guard 19." I've never seen this before.

Calaveras and Deer Zones

1 Blank
2-5 Same as in the Canyon Zone
6 Blank
7 Tactical V Fire 24--154.2725, RX TX Tone 6 - 156.7 Branch III Divisions B, D & F
8 Tactical V Tac 11--151.1375, RX TX Tone 6 - 156.7 Branch IV
9 Tactical CDF T29--151.3475 RX TX Tone 16 - 192.8 Branches XXI & XXIII
10 Tactical V Tac 12--154.4525 RX TX Tone 6 - 156.7 Branch XXIV
11 Tactical V Tac 13--158.7375, RX TX Tone 6 - 156.7 Branch XXV
12 Tactical V Tac 14--159.4725, RX TX Tone 6 - 156.7 Radio Briefing
13 Air to Ground CDF Tac 15-159.2700, RX TX Tone 16 - 192.8 Deer Zone
14 Air to Ground CDF Tac 20--159.0750, RX TX Tone 16 - 192.8 Calaveras Zone
15 Medical CALCORD--156.0750, RX TX Tone 6 - 156.7
16 Emergency National Air Guard**--168.6250, TX Tone 1 - 110.9

** For some unknown reason, the alphanumeric name of this is shown "Guard 19." I've never seen this before.
 

es93546

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Some observations:

1) It's a good thing that Cal Fire increased the number of tacticals it has following the 2013 narrowband edict. And, it's a good thing they increased the number of commands they had years ago, which was 2. Some Cal Fire people and the OES's communication division or whatever they are called now that they were transferred to OES, were very forward thinking. A pat on the back to whoever worked on this.
2) There was some very good thinking establishing the large group of "NIFOG" frequencies. This too when narrowbanding was initiated. Pats on the back for FEMA, DHS, and the predecessors of DHS. This had planning prior to the establishment of DHS. "Federal Emergency Management Agency" and "Department of Homeland Security" for those who are tired trying to keep track of acronyms, along with cutesy text and internet phrases. "OMG, I'm jelly" and other such rot.
3) The feds did not get a huge number of large fires in this lightning bust, unlike previous lightning busts like the September 1987 bust that I was on for a month, Stanislaus NF Complex and Klamath NF Happy Complex. The competition for frequencies would have been interesting, especially for commands. But then, NIFC can use a huge number of frequencies in the "federally unused in the area" pool.
4) Frequency coordination at North Ops has been complicated.
5) North Ops has been doing a lot of the work Area Command Teams do. It is likely that the Sacramento facility that Cal Fire has is doing most of this work. They would seem to be taking on the Area Command Team role. That role is to take a lot of large fires over a wide area and make decisions on who gets what, prioritizing between fires and complexes and dealing directly with a GACC and NIFC.

I have comm plans from the IAP's of the Dolan, Dome, Gold, Hog, Iris and Lake incidents. If anyone is interested I can post those too. I think most of these have been covered or have already been demobbed.
 

es93546

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I just did some comparison of the map, the frequency list and a page from the "2017 Cal Fire Statewide Radio Call Plan." The latter shows a permanent assignment on Cal Fire Command 8 (151.4450/159.3450) for the Cal Fire Mendocino Unit with permanent installations on Cahto, Laughlin and Cold Springs. Command 6 (151.2500/159.36000 is assigned to the Sonoma-Lake-Napa Unit on Oak Ridge, Geyser Peak and Mt. Jackson. The incident IAP map and list shows NIFC Command 2 on Jackson. The Statewide Radio Call Plan does not show Cal Fire CMD 8 on any LNU mountain top and Cal Fire CMD 6 on Mt. Jackson. The most interesting aspect of this is that the IAP map shows NIFC Command 8 on Vaca. This all seems to point at a misprint. Are they using Cal Fire CMD 8 or NIFC CMD 8 on this fire. If they are using Cal Fire CMD 8 then they have put a portable repeater there. I've never heard of a portable repeater on a permanently assigned Cal Fire command frequency pair. They list their portable repeater as being on Cal Fire Command 11. Use of a Cal Fire CMD repeater linked to 4 other NIFC CMD repeaters is something I've never seen. Would it be a first?

This leads me to believe the list in this IAP comm plan is in error, that they are actually using NIFC CMD 8. I wonder how the radios are programmed? I would think exactly as the comm plan list reads. But I also think that NIFC CMD 8 is actually on Vaca. Problems!!?? I'm going to have to look at today's (Sunday) plan or if a corrected plan for Saturday is available.
 

mlangeveld

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1 Command NIFC CMD 12--173.0375/167.3250, RX TX Tone 2 - 123.0 East and West Zone Branch XX, XL Location St. Helena
2 Command NIFC CMD 2--170.4500/168.1000, RX TX Tone 2 - 123.0 West Zone Branch X Location Jackson
3 Command CDF CMD 8--151.4450/159.3450, RX TX Tone 2 - 123.0 East and West Zone Branch XX, XL Location Vaca
4 Command NIFC CMD 9--170.0125/165.2500, RX TX Tone 2 - 123.0 East and West Zone Branch XXX, XL Location Berryessa
5 Command NIFC CMD 26--172.5500/164.8625 RX TX Tone 2 - 123.0 West Zone Branch X Location Oak Ridge

All the above lines have the note " All NIFC Commands are linked together" I wonder if this includes the CDF CMD 8 repeater?
It should be NIFC C8, they made a mistake in the IAP and released a corrected version later.
 

es93546

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OK, weird!! I printed the comm plan yesterday morning. I have it in front of me with Cal Fire CMD-8 on it. I went back and checked the IAP for Friday 8-21 0700 to Saturday 0700 and found that it was corrected to show NIFC CMD 8. The same time period Corrected IAP shows the same thing. Normally the corrected will show changes in division/resource assignments and not the comm plan. I have been using the original IAP for the comm plan as I've never observed a mistake in one of them. This will teach me!
 

es93546

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It should be NIFC C8, they made a mistake in the IAP and released a corrected version later.
Thanks! I was writing my last post when you posted this. I've worked as a resource unit leader (RUL) on about a dozen fires. The position is responsible for assembling and printing the IAP. So when I say I've never observed a mistake in a comm plan, that includes being a RUL, a firefighter and other positions (crew boss, crew strike team leader, situation unit leader, PIO, security, Type 3 plans chief, Type 4 division supervisor, Type 4 incident commander) that means I saw a bunch of these on the job. I've also looked at a few dozen IAP.s since retirement.
 

mlangeveld

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They seem to have made a lot of mistakes in the comm plans for this incident. On an earlier IAP they had CDF C12 listed on Berryessa Peak and Atlas Peak. Then the next day they had NIFC C12 listed. I believe CDF C1, C2, and C6 are the only permanent command repeaters in LNU.
 

es93546

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They seem to have made a lot of mistakes in the comm plans for this incident. On an earlier IAP they had CDF C12 listed on Berryessa Peak and Atlas Peak. Then the next day they had NIFC C12 listed. I believe CDF C1, C2, and C6 are the only permanent command repeaters in LNU.
On that last point you made, it matches my copy of the 2017 Radio Call Plan that details the use of every frequency they have. I need to get an updated version, 2017 doesn't list C11 or C12. For Atlas it shows a permanent installation of LNU-East only (151.3400/159.3150 Tone 2), with no other nets there.
 

KK6ZTE

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** For some unknown reason, the alphanumeric name of this is shown "Guard 19." I've never seen this before.
CAL FIRE uses CESRS or GUARD as channel markers for the radio load. The last update had "GUARD19" as the alpha tag for AIR GUARD to identify the radio had the 2019 codeplug in it.
 
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