Prescott Fire Center
The Prescott Fire Center and Henry Y.H. Kim Aviation Facility was officially dedicated in May 1992.
The Forest Service named this facility in honor of Henry Y.H. Kim, a pilot and Regional Aviation Safety Officer for the Southwestern Region of the Forest Service. A graduate of the U.S. Naval Academy, Kim was a naval aviator and retired commander prior to his service with the Forest Service. He died in 1991 while flying a lead plane mission on a forest fire in New Mexico.
The Center's logo depicts Kim's plane over a Prescott area landmark - Thumb Butte - and distinctive symbols from the flags of Arizona and New Mexico.
In the Southwest, an important line of defense against a major wildfire, a natural disaster, or emergency incident is the Prescott Fire Center and Henry Y. H. Kim Aviation Facility. The Center is located on the outskirts of Prescott, Arizona, at Ernest A. Love Field, Prescott's airport. Here, a highly trained, professional staff coordinates, supports, and assists in the management of interagency, multiagency, and international services deployed to major emergencies such as earthquakes, floods, and wildland fires.
To carry out its role in the national emergency response system, this Center combines an Aviation Program, a Zone Incident Coordination and Communication Center (Central West Zone), a National Emergency Incident Supply Center (called the Fire Cache), an Interagency Hotshot Crew, a Helitack Crew, an Air Tanker Base, and a Fire and Emergency Incident Training Program. It is also home to Prescott National Forest's fire operations staff and engines. In addition, the forest lookouts are supervised from this location.
With its aviation, communications and coordination capabilities, the Center can dispatch aircraft, supplies, equipment, and crews to assist with emergency incidents in the United States and around the world.
In addition to serving as a resource for emergency response and aviation training, the facility is used to support tactical and logistical aircraft missions.
As part of its firefighting capability, the Center's Aviation Program has a state-of-the-art fire retardant mixing and loading system capable of pumping over 100,000 gallons into airplane tankers daily. This is enough to keep 8 air tankers loaded and operating at one time.
The Center has two air tankers and a helicopter on contract throughout the summer months.
Using a computerized data base, emergency specialists mobilize crews, aircraft, equipment, and supplies to assist in handling incidents and emergencies. The Coordination Center is a model of cooperative management among agencies dispatching resources across geographic and agency boundaries to specific incidents. Locally, the Center's staff is responsible for the coordination of all fire management actions on the Prescott National Forest. It also serves as the coordination center for the other wildland fire agencies within the Central West Zone (Tonto National Forest; Phoenix District BLM; Phoenix Area Office, BIA; Phoenix District, Arizona State Forestry; and National Park Service units.)
The Coordination Center also gathers and maintains weather information for the National Weather Data Base. Dispatchers collect and compute weather data from weather stations and lookout towers during the fire season, predict weather's effect on fire behavior, and provide that information to field units.
National, state and local agencies send their personnel here for comprehensive emergency incident management and support training. The curricula focus on emergency incident tactics and logistics and aviation operations. Classes cover everything from air tanker loading to helicopter rappelling. National experts often teach at the center.
One of eleven national emergency incident supply centers, the Fire Cache stores enough emergency supplies and equipment to handle the needs of over 2,500 personnel. Firefighting and other emergency materials, such as shovels, firefighting clothing and food, are maintained in a 20,000 square foot area. Cache employees assemble and distribute supplies as needed. As materials are returned from the field, they are checked, cleaned, repaired, recycled or replaced, in preparation for the next incident.
Hot Shot Crew, Helitack Crew, Engines and Lookouts.