69
      Friday
      75 / 54
      Saturday
      78 / 56
      Sunday
      80 / 59

      Who are the masterminds behind the Duck Lake wildfire operations?

      It's a DNR garage shop about 14 miles from the Duck Lake Wildfire. But open the doors and you'll see the nerve center of the entire operation.

      It's called the Incident Command Post, and when fires like this one spread, the overhead team steps in.

      "The operation on the fire would quickly grind to a halt if this weren't here," said Donald Johnson, a public information officer with the Department of Natural Resources. "They would run out of food, they would run out of fuel, and they wouldn't have the maps. They wouldn't know where to go."

      The center is divided in four sections: operations - fire crews battling the blaze; planning - mapping out fire lines, structures and crews; finance - the cost of the entire operation; and logistics - making sure fire crews are properly equipped.

      "We order things the firefighters need as far as food, lodging. We order equipment, we order personnel," said Paige Perry, a logistics section chief.

      It's long hours for firefighters in the front lines and even longer hours for the overview team.

      "We're here after they've gone for the day, making sure the day is put together for tomorrow," Johnson said.

      A day that starts around 6 a.m. with a briefing. It doesn't end until new GPS points are put on a map and printed out for the next day.

      So how does a team of more than 230 members communicate? Enter the Mobile Incident Command Post. Inside, information from the command center is translated to firemen.

      "Each division has its own frequencies, and there are separate frequencies to talk to the command staff and keeping that all separated so that everybody can do their business and not step on each other," Johnson said.