The Southwest Area (SWA) is one of ten Geographic Areas across the United States and Alaska. Under the direction of the National Interagency Fire Center and the National Wildfire Coordinating Group (NWCG), the SWA is established to manage collaboratively wildland fire and other incident management activities throughout the States of Arizona and New Mexico, and the Federal units located in the western parts of Oklahoma and Texas to the 100th meridian.
Primary cooperating Federal and State Agencies in the Southwest Area include the USDA Forest Service, USDI Bureau of Land Management, USDI National Park Service, USDI Bureau of Indian Affairs, USDI Fish and Wildlife Service, State of Arizona (Arizona State Forestry), and the State of New Mexico (New Mexico State Forestry). Under these Land Management agencies, there are over 100 identified land management units covering millions of acres. Wildland fuels within these units range from grasslands to high-country timber.
Southwest Area - Agency and Unit Location Maps
The Southwest Coordinating Group (SWCG) consists of Regional Fire Directors and Managers from each of the primary cooperating Federal and State Agencies within the Southwest Area. This group has overall responsibility for allocating and prioritizing resources during times of multiple incidents, overseeing the mobilization of emergency resources as a whole, developing and managing Incident Management Teams (IMT), and coordinating information and intelligence within the Southwest Area.
When the SWA Preparedness Level rises to the Level of 4 or above, the SWCG will convene as the Geographic Area Mutli-agency Coordinating Group (GMAC). In this role, the GMAC will prioritize incidents for the purpose of allocating critical wildland fire resources.
The Southwest Coordination Center (SWCC) is an interagency office consisting of personnel from USDI Bureau of Indian Affairs, USDI Bureau of Land Management, USDI National Park Service, USDI Fish & Wildlife Service, and USDA Forest Service. The purpose of the Center is to be the focal point for logistical support (i.e. mobilization and demobilization of resources) between the twelve Dispatch Centers within the Southwest Area, and the National Coordination Center. In addition, the Center provides Predictive Services and Intelligence related products for decision support.
The Southwest Area is divided into nine Zones. Each Zone has its own interagency Zone Coordinating Group comprised of representatives from the Federal and State agencies within the Zone. Within each Zone, at least one interagency dispatch center is operational, providing logistical support to the units within the Zone.