EAST WENATCHEE- With a coverage area spanning nearly 50 percent of Washington State, a local communications center serves a vital role in keeping our area safe during the fire seasons. NCWLIFE visited the center to learn more about its operations and the demands of the job.
Tucked in a modest building near Pangborn Airport in East Wenatchee, The Central Washington Interagency Communication Center serves as the dispatch hub for five cooperating agencies, covering nearly 22 million acres from the Canadian border down to Oregon. Also known as CWICC, the center serves as the focal point in providing logistical support and resources for anticipated and ongoing fire incidents in Central Washington.
Despite the transition from staffing remote lookout towers to using intricate mapping and tracking software at CWICC, Operations Coordinator Jim Duck says staff still combs through hundreds of fire reports.
Staffed year-round, the interagency dispatch center helps agencies respond faster and with adequate resources to help minimize catastrophic wildfire throughout the state.