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National Incident Radio Support Cache


National Incident Radio Support Cache

The NIFC Radio Cache is the largest in the world consisting of 8,000 handheld radios, 200 repeaters, and 15 portable satellite systems, containing about 10,000 pieces of equipment worth $26 million. This equipment can support about 32,000 firefighters or 53 major disasters at one time. This cache is maintained and used primarily for wildland fire, however, it may show up on any federally supported large incident or disaster such as floods, hurricanes, tornadoes, law enforcement and large special events (it was used in 2004 for both the Republican and Democratic National Conventions). It is located and maintained by the National Interagency Incident Communications Division (NIICD) of the National Interagency Fire Center (NIFC) in Boise, Idaho. The NIICD Communications Duty Officer (CDO) is the nationwide incident frequency coordinator for this cache and issues authorizations based on potential interference with nearby incidents and other agencies. The CDO coordinates aviation (VHF AM) frequency use with the FAA, the sole agency responsible for the use of aviation frequencies.

Each Geographic Area Coordination Center (GACC) can order 4 basic "Starter Systems" for preposition during their established fire season. A Starter System consists of 10 boxes of assorted equipment including 1 VHF Repeater/Link and 1 UHF Repeater. Generally the frequency assignments for these repeaters will be one of the standard VHF Command assignments (C1 through C6) and one of the standard UHF assignments (L1 through L7). Any UHF frequency listed on the "Logistics" table below can be used to link command repeaters and VHF AM "Victor" remote bases to the Incident Command Post and other locations such as a heliports, portable retardant plants, etc. Repeaters are installed in fiberglass cases for shipping and placement. Antennas, batteries and installation/maintenance tools are included as communications unit staff may arrive via aircraft with weight restrictions that prevent carrying tools. All command repeaters are shipped with UHF link radios installed.

If an incident grows in size and complexity communication needs will change. Incidents have different characteristics such as the type of incident (fire, earthquake, hurricane, special event, etc.) topography, size, number and types of resources assigned, type of incident management team(s) assigned, fuel type(s) burning, existence and proximity of wildland urban interface areas, distance from towns, distance from air tanker bases, the number and type of aircraft used, location of shipment receiving facilities, number of VHF handheld radios brought by arriving resources, cell phone coverage, availability and type of Internet connection, and availability of commercial electricity. Mobile radios installed (25 watts and up) in fire apparatus are not cloned and systems are designed to provide handheld radio (normally 5 watt maximum) coverage. Communication systems need to be designed that take these factors into consideration. Communication system components are available in 25 prepackaged kits. These kits are then used to build a system that meets all the incident's needs.

If one command repeater cannot provide coverage of an entire incident an additional command repeater(s) is placed in locations that collectively provide full coverage of the incident. These repeaters are linked together with UHF repeaters in an integrated system that allows each repeater to carry the traffic of all the other command repeaters. Each handheld radio is programmed with the frequencies of all the command repeaters used on the incident. This enables each handheld access to this integrated system from all locations. If remote bases are installed that a scanner cannot receive, topography and location may allow reception of link frequencies. Entering each of the frequencies on the "Logistics" table below in a scanner is a good start when searching for UHF linking frequencies.

The frequencies shown in the tables below are permanently assigned. For reasons that are not always clear, perhaps due to interference or leaving frequencies available for potential new incidents, temporary frequency authorizations may be issued on an incident by incident basis. Frequencies are selected by the communications unit leader of each incident using a database list of frequencies assigned to all federal agencies in the area of the incident. The communications unit leader selects currently unused frequencies and requests CDO authorization for their use. The CDO considers the needs of other incidents and may authorize the requested frequencies or authorize others. These authorizations cover the limited area of incidents and only for its duration. Subsequent incidents in the same area in the same year may have different frequencies assigned to it. It is not entirely clear if authorizations are carried over to the next year. Conversations with communications unit leaders at incident scenes indicate they are not. Several Radio Reference members have reported the use of some command frequency pairs for more than one year, with the name of the frequency (Command 37, etc.) staying the same.

  • Frequencies listed here are subject to change at any time and are not verified to be 100% accurate, complete or current in all areas.
  • All frequencies listed are narrowband FM (FMN). It is possible that P25 digital mode may be used in some areas. According to Interagency Aviation Tech Bulletin dated February, 2008 all aviation FM radios are required to be P25 capable.
  • A partial list of pre-assigned national frequencies is contained in Chapter 15 - Communications of the publicly available document Interagency Standards for Fire and Fire Aviation Operations (Redbook).
  • Starting in 2014 per the National Incident Radio Support Cache User’s Guide "New for 2014" on page 2, incidents are advised to program CTCSS tones in all VHF repeaters (command) and all tactical frequencies. The communications duty officer (CDO) assigns the tones on an incident by incident basis.
  • Handheld radios are cloned per the Incident Radio Communications Plan (ICS 205). Mobile radios are not cloned.


These frequencies are authorized for use in handhelds and mobiles only. Installation in base stations is not authorized.

National Interagency Fire Tactical Frequencies
    • Tones maybe implemented on a Fire-by-Fire basis
Frequency Type Description Notes
168.0500MTac 1
168.2000MTac 2
168.6000MTac 3
166.7250MTac 5
166.7750MTac 6
168.2500MTac 7
  • The authorization for Tac 4 was terminated several years ago. A replacement frequency has not been authorized.
  • Some U.S. Forest Service regions and BLM state offices now have unique tactical frequencies assigned for day to day work, initial attack and locally managed (Type III, IV & V) extended attack incidents. The objective is to use the NIFC tactical frequencies on nationally managed (Type I & II) extended attack incidents only. It is unknown when other Forest Service regions and BLM state offices will be assigned unique frequencies to meet this objective nationwide.


Frequency Input Type Description Notes (or Location Channel Heard/Verified)
168.7000170.9750RCMD 01
168.1000170.4500RCMD 02
168.0750170.4250RCMD 03
170.4250168.0750RCMD 03(3) Delta/Hirz Fires - Shasta-Trinity National Forest, CA 2018
166.6125168.4000RCMD 04
167.1000169.7500RCMD 05
168.4750173.8125RCMD 06
162.9625171.7875CMD 07Withdrawn in 2011 (1)
169.5375164.7125RCMD 08(2) Fed Interoperability Channel Calling (NC 1)
170.0125165.2500RCMD 09(2) Fed Interoperability Channel Incident Response (IR 1)
170.4125165.9625RCMD 10(2) Fed Interoperability Channel Incident Response (IR 2)
170.6875166.5750RCMD 11(2) Fed Interoperability Channel Incident Response (IR 3)
173.0375167.3250RCMD 12(2) Fed Interoperability Channel Incident Response (IR 4)
166.3125172.4750RCMD 13(3)
164.7125169.5375RCMD 14(2) NC 1 Frequency Pair Reversed
165.2500170.0125RCMD 15(2) IR 1 Frequency Pair Reversed
165.9625170.4125RCMD 16(2) IR 2 Frequency Pair Reversed
165.5750170.6875RCMD 17(2) IR 3 Frequency Pair Reversed
167.3250173.0375RCMD 18(2) IR 4 Frequency Pair Reversed
169.3625173.6750RCMD 19(3)
167.9875UnknownRCMD 20(3)
169.5375UnknownRCMD 21(3)
169.6875163.0375RCMD 21(3) Mendocino Complex Fire (CA) 2018
168.3125172.6750RCMD 21(3) Soberanes Fire - Los Padres National Forest & Monterey County, Cal Fire, CA 2016.
166.3625UnknownRCMD 22(3)
164.0125UnknownRCMD 23(3)
172.4500164.5750RCMD 24(3) Mendocino Complex Fire (CA) 2018
166.9625UnknownRCMD 24(3)
170.5125168.4750RCMD 25(3)
172.6750164.8375RCMD 26(3) Mendocino Complex Fire (CA) 2018
169.9750172.3250RCMD 26(3) Border 3 Fire, San Diego County, Cal Fire 2016
165.0125UnknownRCMD 27(3)
166.6125UnknownRCMD 28(3)
166.5625UnknownRCMD 29(3)
169.8125173.8250RCMD 30(3) Rough Fire - Sierra and Sequoia National Forests and Sequoia-Kings Canyon National Parks, CA 2015
171.5375164.0875RCMD 31(3) Delta/Hirz Fires - Shasta-Trinity National Forest, CA 2018
164.7750170.0500RCMD 32(3) Fork Complex - Shasta-Trinity National Forest, CA 2015
167.1500172.1375RCMD 33(3) Soberanes Fire - Los Padres National Forest & Monterey County, Cal Fire, CA 2016
166.3250UnknownRCMD 33(3) Butte Fire - Calaveras/Amador Counties, Cal Fire, CA 2015
170.0875162.1875RCMD 34(3) Soberanes Fire - Los Padres National Forest & Monterey County, Cal Fire, CA 2016
172.5500164.8625RCMD 35(3) Soberanes Fire - Los Padres National Forest & Monterey County, Cal Fire, CA 2016
170.1125162.1875RCMD 36(3) Rough Fire - Sierra and Sequoia National Forests and Sequoia-Kings Canyon National Parks, CA 2015
163.0750172.7500RCMD 37(3) Soberanes Fire - Los Padres National Forest & Monterey County, Cal Fire, CA 2016. Note, if these frequencies were flipped, this would be compliant with the NTIA 2019 directives.
172.5500162.1875RCMD 37(3) King Fire - Eldorado National Forest, CA 2014
172.5500163.8250RCMD 37(3) Happy Camp Complex - Klamath National Forest, CA 2014
172.5500162.7750RCMD 37(3) Rough Fire - Sierra and Sequoia National Forests and Sequoia-Kings Canyon National Parks, CA 2015
166.3125171.7250RCMD 37(3) Park Creek, Arrastra Creek and Alice Creek Fire[s] - Helena-Lewis & Clark National Forest, MT 2017.08
163.1250172.7750RCMD 38(3) Soberanes Fire - Los Padres National Forest & Monterey County, Cal Fire, CA 2016. Note, if these frequencies were flipped, this would be compliant with the NTIA 2019 directives.
173.8750163.6625RCMD 39(3) Rough Fire - Sierra and Sequoia National Forests and Sequoia-Kings Canyon National Parks, CA 2015
164.1625172.1125RCMD 39(3) Park Creek, Arrastra Creek and Alice Creek Fire[s] - Helena-Lewis & Clark National Forest, MT 2017.08
163.1500172.8125RCMD 40(3) Soberanes Fire - Los Padres National Forest & Monterey County, Cal Fire, CA 2016. Note, if these frequencies were flipped, this would be compliant with the NTIA 2019 directives.
172.7000163.7625RCMD 40(3) Rough Fire - Sierra and Sequoia National Forests and Sequoia-Kings Canyon National Parks, CA 2015
173.5250UnknownRCMD 41(3) Butte Fire - Calaveras/Amador Counties, Cal Fire 2015
163.1750173.6750RCMD 43(3) Soberanes Fire - Los Padres National Forest & Monterey County, Cal Fire, CA 2016. Note, if these frequencies were flipped, this would be compliant with the NTIA 2019 directives.
169.1000164.1750RCMD 44(3) Chimney Fire - San Luis Obispo County, Cal Fire 2016
173.0625162.6125RCMD 45(3) Fork Complex - Shasta-Trinity National Forest, CA 2015
164.8375172.1375RCMD 45(3) Lost Fire - CA BLM NOD, CA 2012
166.9125173.7750RCMD 48(3) Park Creek, Arrastra Creek and Alice Creek Fire[s] - Helena-Lewis & Clark National Forest, MT 2017.08
172.6500164.7500RCMD 48(3) Delta/Hirz Fires - Shasta-Trinity National Forest, CA 2018
173.0250164.6000RCMD 50(3) Chimney Fire - San Luis Obispo County, Cal Fire 2016
169.7375162.1875RCMD 51(3) Canyon Creek Complex - Malheur National Forest, OR 2015
170.0875162.8125RCMD 51(3) Delta/Hirz Fires - Shasta-Trinity National Forest, CA 2018
165.3875162.7000RCMD 54(3) Canyon Creek Complex - Malheur National Forest, OR 2015
163.1500169.8250RCMD 55(3) Tully Incident - CALFIRE 2016
164.1375169.6500RCMD 58(3) King Fire - Eldorado National Forest, CA 2014
164.8375170.0500RCMD 59(3) King Fire - Eldorado National Forest, CA 2014
172.5500162.7000RCMD 59(3) Canyon Creek Complex - Malheur National Forest, OR 2015
167.0625173.0250RCMD 60(3) King Fire - Eldorado National Forest, CA 2014
164.8625170.3875RCMD 61(3) King Fire - Eldorado National Forest, CA 2014
173.0625167.9625RCMD ??(3) Happy Camp Complex - Klamath National Forest, CA 2014
171.0375164.6000RCMD 64(3) Mendocino Complex Fire (CA) 2018
171.1125164.0125RCMD 67(3) Mendocino Complex Fire (CA) 2018
171.1125164.7500RCMD 83(3) Napa Fires 2017
172.1275164.0125RCMD 96(3) Mendocino Fires 2017
163.1500172.6750RCMD 97(3) Thomas Fire 2017
166.3125170.0750RCMD 99(3) Thomas Fire 2017
167.1500172.1375RCMD 100(3) Thomas Fire 2017
  • (1) The authorization for Command 7 was withdrawn in 2011. Authorization has not been issued for a replacement pair of frequencies.
  • (2) Command Channels 8-12 are in the Federal Interoperability Channel Plan as NC1 and IR1-IR4. See the NTIA Federal Incident Response Channel Plan for more information. These channels are listed in the 2015 California FIRESCOPE communications plan. There is a single verified report of one of these frequency pairs being used on an incident outside of California. This would indicate these commands are available for use outside of California.
  • (3) Members have reported these command frequencies being used on large incidents. Some have been listed on copies of incident communication plans obtained by members. Those shown with no frequencies have been shown on publicly available incident maps, but without access to frequency information or reception reports. The commands highlighted by notation (3) may not be permanent, long term, wide area authorizations, rather are temporary use of frequencies in the pool of unused federal frequencies that are assigned on an incident by incident basis. The use of these frequencies, most especially the names, i.e. "Command 16," may not carry over to subsequent years or to incidents outside the area they were authorized for. If nothing is heard on Commands 1-12, these additional command frequencies may be in use. Members are requested to report if they are and if the same name is applied to them. Use of command channels in the gaps between those listed has not been reported.
  • The use of CTCSS tones on both the transmit and receive frequencies is necessary due to interference with other incidents that might be within "earshot" of other incidents, other RF sources and, in the case of incidents in proximity to Mexico, illegal use of these frequencies. The latter is common in the southern portions of the region covered by the Southern California and Southwest Geographical Area Coordination Centers.


This information was confirmed from official information as of 2009 with updates from 2015.

The outputs can be used simplex as well.

Links for aircraft are typically dedicated to aircraft operations.

These frequencies may also be used for cross band repeaters and links.

The repeater input/output frequencies of Logistics 1 -7 are sometimes reversed for different repeater configurations and some of the inputs may be used for simplex.

Frequency Input Type Description Notes
406.4000415.4000RLogistics 1
406.5875415.5875RLogistics 2
408.7875417.7875RLogistics 3
410.2750419.2750RLogistics 4
410.7750419.7750RLogistics 5
408.6875417.6875RLogistics 6
408.5000417.5000RLogistics 7
406.4000BMRepeater Link 1
406.5875BMRepeater Link 2
408.7875BMRepeater Link 3
410.2750BMRepeater Link 4
410.7750BMRepeater Link 5
408.8000BMRepeater Link 6
408.5000BMRepeater Link 7
411.4000BMRepeater Link 8
408.9000BMRepeater Link 9Retired 2013
411.5000BMAircraft Link 1
411.8000BMAircraft Link 2
412.6000BMAircraft Link 3
411.7500BMAircraft Link 4
411.9250BMAircraft Link 5
412.1500BMAircraft Link 6
412.2000BMAircraft Link 7
411.2500BMAircraft Link 8
410.2375BMAircraft Link 9
410.2375419.2375RMAircraft Link 10
410.4375BMAircraft Link 11
410.4375419.4375RMAircraft Link 12
410.6375BMAircraft Link 13
410.6375419.6375RMAircraft Link 14
411.3000BMCamp Net 1
411.4250BMCamp Net 2
411.5250BMCamp Net 3
411.5750BMCamp Net 4
414.6500BMCamp Net 5
417.9000BMCamp Net 6

  • Aircraft links provide communications for the Incident Command Post (ICP) and/or Heliports - Helispots to/from distant VHF AM ("Victor") frequency remote bases. The aircraft transmit on Victor frequencies and the ICP and heliports/helispots receive it on UHF frequencies, which in turn, via the link and the remote base, transmit back to the aircraft on VHF AM. This situation exists when the size of the incident is large and/or the topography is mountainous sufficient to prevent VHF AM air to ground communications over the entire incident. VHF AM radios transmit at very low power, but due to elevation cover a significant area. Low power is used to reduce the chances of interfering with nearby incidents.
  • In some situations repeaters used for logistics purposes only are placed in high locations when the ICP and supply sources or receiving/distribution centers are in separate and distant locations.

Air VHF FM ("Foxtrot Mike") Frequencies

These include National Air Guard, National Flight Following and the 89 channel National Air to Ground system. Air to ground frequencies are assigned for initial attack to zones within each state. If the incident grows larger (extended attack) a new air to ground frequency(s) will be assigned. This assignment obtains frequencies from two sources: unused National Air to Ground system frequency(s) or unused federal government frequency(s) in the area of the incident. These assignments are made after approval by the Communications Duty Officer of the National Interagency Incident Communications Division (NIICD) at the National Interagency Fire Center in Boise, Idaho. The frequencies might not be used on other incidents or even used in the same area in the same, or subsequent, years.

Prior to 2013 there were 5 national air to air FM tactical frequencies that were used for both initial and extended attack. These 5 frequencies are now part of the National Air to Ground system and, with the exception of California, air to air tactical traffic is conducted on VHF AM aviation frequencies. California has 34 federal air to air tactics FM frequencies with 2 or 3 assigned to each of the 18 national forests in the state.

When an incident evolves into an extended attack, the air tactics group supervisor (ATGS) makes the request for extended attack air-to-air tactics and air-to-ground frequencies be assigned. When frequencies are approved it might occur while the shift is in progress. When this happens the change is announced on all the aviation frequencies in use and the command frequency, which during the initial attack phase is most often the forest net (USFS), district net (BLM), park net (NPS), refuge net (USFWS) or the fire/emergency net of any of those jurisdictions. This is gradually changing as maintaining confidentiality of frequency use is increasing.

In most circumstances the unique extended attack air-to-ground frequency change will be made effective the beginning of a shift. In this case all frequency changes are announced at shift briefings and listed in the shift Incident Action Plan. Shifts are 0600 to 1800 (day shift) and 1800 to 0600 (night shift). Almost all changes are effective at the beginning of day shift, as that is when most aviation activity occurs.

If this announcement is missed anyone monitoring a large incident that uses air support should search the federal VHF frequency band (162.0000 MHz - 174.0000 MHz, 12.5 kHz steps) to find the VHF FM air-to-ground frequencies if traffic is not received on the pre-assigned frequencies listed below.

National Flight Following is used by the almost all interagency dispatch centers, however, an increasing number of these now have their own local flight following frequency assigned for use in their areas only in addition to the national frequency. These local flight following frequencies are employed when aircraft are working within one dispatch area. These frequencies will be listed in the state by state federal government listings as soon as they have been confirmed by listeners.

According to this document there will be two, and three in some cases, permanently assigned air-to-ground FM frequencies for each initial attack zone nationwide. This information has been taken from confirmed sources and is accurate as of June 1, 2016 for all but the Alaska GACC. Alaska uses VHF-AM (Victor) frequencies for air to air and air to ground communications.

These frequencies are not assigned for air to ground exclusively nationwide. Some of the frequencies may be used as National Forest, National Park, BLM District or National Wildlife Refuge primary nets or local tactical channels. Air to ground frequencies are assigned in a manner that interference with local nets is not possible due to distance and/or topography. All the air to ground frequencies are for aircraft to handheld and mobile only, base stations are not allowed on them.

Nationwide Frequencies
Frequency Name
168.6250National Air Guard (PL 110.9 tx/rx)
168.6500National Flight Following (PL 110.9 tx/rx)

Air VHF FM Air-to-Ground - Channel Sorted
Channel Frequency GACC *(1) Dispatch Center and/or Initial Attack Zone
A/G 01151.3100NWCCLakeview 2 (156.7 Tone)
A/G 02166.6375GBCC, RMCC, SACC, SWCCBattle Mtn. 2, Kansas 1, NW S. Dakota 2, Pensacola 2, NE Oklahoma 2, S. Central 1, NW Texas 1
A/G 03151.1450GBCC, NRCCBoise 3, Shoshone (ID) 3, Idaho 3, Coeur d Alene 3, Grangeville 3
A/G 03166.6125 2018 Listings
A/G 04159.3450
A/G 05166.7500EACC, RMCCIllinois 2, Nebraska 2
A/G 06166.8000EACC, GBCC, RMCC, SACCIndiana 2, Winnemucca 2, Ely 2, Kansas 2. W. Central Arkansas 2, Pensacola 3, Kentucky 2, Virginia 2
A/G 07166.8500EACC, RMCC, SACCIllinois 3, Southern Craig 1, Montrose 2, Durango 2, Ft. Collins 2, N. Carolina 2, S. Carolina 2, N. Central Texas 1, SE Texas 1
A/G 08166.8750GBCC, ONCC, SACCElko 2, Carson City 2, Southern Nevada 2, North Northern CA 2, NW Texas 3
A/G 09166.9125NWCC, RMCC, SACC, SWCCNW Oregon 2, La Grande 2, Grand Junction 2, Durango 1, Ft. Collins 1, NE Texas 1 SW Texas 1
A/G 10166.9375GBCC, RMCC, SACCCanyon Country 1, Teton (WY) 1, E. Rawlins 1, N. Central Texas 3
A/G 11168.9625EACCIllinois 1, Indiana 1, Missouri 1
A/G 12167.0750GBCC, NWCC, RMCC, SACCTeton (WY) 3, SE Washington 2, W. Cody 3, S. Cody 1, SE Casper 1, NW Arkansas 2
A/G 13167.4250NRCC, RMCC, SACCGreat Falls 1, Miles City 3, NW N. Dakota 1, SW N. Dakota, NE N. Dakota, SW N. Dakota,2, S. Craig 2, Montrose 3, W. Cody 1, S. Cody 1, Pensacola 1, Georgia 1, N. Carolina 1
A/G 14167.5000ONCC, RMCCS. Northern 1, E. Cody 1, W. Rawlins 2
A/G 15167.5250GBCC, RMCC, SACCIdaho Falls 2, Battle Mountain 1, Montrose 1, Casper 1, E. Rawlins 2, SE Casper 2 W. Central Arkansas 1, Tallahassee 1, Puerto Rico 1, S. Carolina 1, Virginia 1
A/G 16169.1750EACCWisconsin 3
A/G 17167.9875EACC, GBCC, NRCC, SACC, SWCCMissouri 2, Pennsylvania 1, Boise 1, Idaho Falls 1, Grangeville 2, Gainesville 2, Williams 2
A/G 18168.0125GBCC, SWCCCentral Utah 1, Uinta Basin 1, Albuquerque 2
A/G 19168.1250EACC, GBCC, SWCCMinnesota 1, W. Virginia 1, Wisconsin 1, Shoshone (ID) 1, Color Country 2, Phoenix 1
A/G 20168.1750SWCCAlamogordo 1
A/G 21168.1500GBCCCentral Utah 2
A/G 22166.6125
A/G 22168.4000 2018 Listing
A/G 23166.7625GBCCSalmon 1, Southern Nevada 1
A/G 24168.6375GBCC, NWCC, OSCC, RMCCColor Country 1, Lakeview 3, John Day 2, N. Southern CA 2, NW S. Dakota 3, SW S. Dakota 2
A/G 25168.7500RMCC, SWCCNebraska 1, SW S. Dakota 3, Alamogordo 2, Williams 1
A/G 26166.6875SWCCShow Low 3
A/G 27166.8250SACC, SWCCW. Central Arkansas 3, Phoenix 3
A/G 28170.0000EACC, NRCC, NWCC, RMCC, SACC, SWCCMichigan 2, Minnesota 2, Ohio 2, Vermont 2, Billings 2. W. Washington 2, Pueblo 2, NE Oklahoma 3, N. Central Texas 2 (Federal - National Grasslands)
A/G 28170.0000 2018 Frequency authorization has been withdrawn
A/G 29166.9000NRCC, RMCC, SACCKibby-Kalispell-Great Falls 2, Bitterroot-Dillon 3, Lewistown 2, Nebraska 3, Titusville 4, Tennessee 2
A/G 30171.1375 Frequency authorization has been withdrawn
A/G 31166.7875RMCCNW S. Dakota 2, NE S. Dakota 1, SE N. Dakota 1, Casper 3
A/G 32166.9625SWCCFlagstaff 1, Tucson 1
A/G 33171.5750SWCC(Not assigned for 2017 & 2018)
A/G 34167.1750EACC, SACC, SWCCWest Virginia 2, Titusville 2, NE Texas 2, Show Low 1, Prescott 1
A/G 35167.2250RMCC, SACCPueblo 1, Kansas 3, NW S. Dakota 1, SW S. Dakota 1, W. Cody 2, Casper 2, S. Cody 3, W. Rawlins 1, Kentucky 1, NE Oklahoma 1, SE Oklahoma 2 , W. Oklahoma 2
A/G 36172.2500
A/G 36172.2500 2018 Frequency authorization has been withdrawn
A/G 37167.3000NWCCBend 1
A/G 38167.3750NWCC, SACCJohn Day 1, Louisiana 1
A/G 38167.9000NRCCMontana, Idaho
A/G 39172.4000 2018 Frequency authorization has been withdrawn
A/G 40167.4500NWCC, SACC, SWCCSE Washington 1, Mississippi 1, N. Central Texas 2, S. Central Texas 2, SE Texas 2, NW Texas 2 (State), SW Texas 2
A/G 41167.4750NWCC, SACC, SWCCLakeview 1, W. Washington 1, N. Southern California 1, NE Texas 3, Tucson 2
A/G 42167.5500NWCC, SACCBurns-Vale 1, E. Arkansas 1
A/G 42167.55002018 Frequency authorization has been withdrawn
A/G 43167.6000GBCC, ONCCSalmon 2, Ely 1, N. Northern CA 1
A/G 44167.6250GBCC, NWCC, SACC, SWCCCanyon Country 2, La Grande 1, NW Arkansas 1, Gainesville 1, Everglades 1, Prescott 3
A/G 45167.6500NRCCGrangeville 1
A/G 46167.7000GBCC, NRCC, SACCMcCall 2, Bozeman-Yellowstone NP 1, Tennessee 1
A/G 47167.7250NRCC, SWCCCoeur d Alene 1, Show Low 2
A/G 48167.8875NRCCMissoula 1, Billings 1
A/G 49168.0375GBCC, RMCCElko 1, Grand Junction 1
A/G 50168.2875NWCC SACCNW Oregon 1, Alabama 1
A/G 51168.3125EACC, GBCC, NWCC, SWCCWisconsin 2, Carson City 1, Uinta Basin 2, Medford-Coos Bay 1, NE Washington, Santa Fe 1
A/G 52168.3875NRCCLibby-Kalispell-Great Falls 1, Bitterroot-Dillon 1, Lewistown 1, Miles City 1
A/G 53168.4875GBCC, NRCC, OSCC, SWCCWinnemucca 1, Bitterroot-Dillon 2, NW N. Dakota 2, SW N. Dakota 2, NE N. Dakota 1, SE N. Dakota 1, S. Southern CA 1, Albuquerque 1
A/G 54168.5375GBCC, NRCC, SACCShoshone (ID) 2, Coeur d Alene 2, Georgia 3, N. Carolina 3, S. Central Texas 3
A/G 55168.5625 2018 Frequency authorization has been withdrawn
A/G 56168.6625RMCC, SWCCN. Craig 1, Flagstaff 3, Tucson 3, Alamogordo 3, Taos 1
A/G 57168.7250GBCCNorthern Utah 2
A/G 58169.0875EACC, RMCC, SACCMissouri 3, N. Craig 2, Alabama 2, Kentucky 3, Louisiana 3, SE Texa 3
A/G 59169.1125ONCC, OSCC, SACCS. Northern CA 2, S. Southern CA 2, Everglades 4
A/G 60169.1250GBCCTeton (WY) 4, Taos 2
A/G 61169.2875NWCC, SWCCBend 2, Phoenix 2
A/G 62169.3625NWCC, RMCC, SWCCMedford-Coos Bay 2, Burns-Vale 2, E. Cody 2, Silver City 2, Santa Fe 2
A/G 63171.4250 2018 Frequency authorization has been withdrawn
A/G 64171.4750
A/G 65172.3750 2018 Frequency authorization has been withdrawn
A/G 66166.6750EACC, NRCC, NWCCMichigan 1, New Hampshire 1, Ohio 1, Vermont 1, Great Falls 2, Miles City 2, NE Washington 2
A/G 66166.67502018 Frequency authorization has been withdrawn
A/G 67159.2250SACCNW Oklahoma 1, 2018 Frequency authorization has been withdrawn
A/G 68159.3900SACCNE Oklahoma 1, 2018 Frequency authorization has been withdrawn
A/G 69169.2000NRCCBozeman-Yellowstone NP 2
A/G 70167.9500EACCMichigan 3, Minnesota 3, Ohio 3
A/G 71168.6750SACCTallahassee 2, Gainesville 3
A/G 72169.1500EACC, NRCCNew Hampshire 2, Vermont 3, Missoula 2
A/G 73151.1750SWCC Prescott 2 (Tone 136.5)
A/G 74154.3100GBCCNorthern Utah 1
A/G 75168.0000GBCCBoise 2
A/G 76167.1250EACC, RMCC, SACCPennsylvania 3, SE S. Dakota 2, Everglades 3, Mississippi 2
A/G 77168.5000EACC, SACCIndiana 3, W. Virginia 3, Tennessee 3
A/G 77169.3625NRCCMontana, Idaho
A/G 78168.5750EACC, SACCPennsylvania 2, E. Arkansas 2, Ocala 2
A/G 79169.4000SACCE. Arkansas 3, Titusville 1
A/G 80166.9250EACCW. Virginia 1
A/G 81166.9500SACCGeorgia 2, Louisiana 2
A/G 82168.3000SACCPensacola 4, Mississippi 3
A/G 83168.2750SACCNW Arkansas 3, 2018 Frequency authorization has been withdrawn
A/G 84Unknown? 2018 Frequency authorization has been withdrawn
A/G 85168.3250SACCEverglades 2, N. Central Texas 4
A/G 86Unknown168.2250
A/G 87168.6875GBCCMcCall 1
A/G 88169.1250SWCCSilver City 2 (110.9 Tone)
A/G 89167.7000SWCCSilver City 1 (110.9 Tone)
A/G 90166.9500?Wayne NF
A/G 90166.5000
A/G 91168.3750

  • (1) Geographical Area Coordination Center (GACC): EACC = Eastern, GBCC = Great Basin, NRCC = Northern Rockies, NWCC = Northwest, ONCC = Operations Northern California, OSCC = Operations Southern California, RMCC = Rocky Mountain, SWCC = Southwest, SACC = Southern. Access this page to obtain GACC boundaries:

Air VHF FM Air-to-Ground - Geographic Area Coordination Center Sorted
GACC I.A. Zone # Dispatch Center and/or I. A. Zone Primary Secondary Tertiary Quaternary
Eastern IL-01 Illinois AG11 168.9625 AG05 166.7500 AG07 166.8500
Eastern IN-01 Indiana AG11 168.9625 AG06 166.8000 AG77 168.5000
Eastern MI-01 Lower Michigan AG66 166.6750 AG28 170.000 AG70 167.9500
Eastern MI-02 Upper Peninsula Michigan AG66 166.6750 AG28 170.0000 AG70 167.9500
Eastern MN-01 Minnesota AG19 168.1250 AG28 170.0000 AG70 167.9500
Eastern MO-01 Missouri AG11 168.9625 AG17 167.9875 AG58 169.0875
Eastern NH-01 New Hampshire AG66 166.6750 AG72 169.1500
Eastern OH-01 Ohio AG66 166.6750 AG28 170.0000 AG70 167.9500
Eastern PA-01 Pennsylvania AG17 167.9875 AG78 168.5750 AG76 167.1250
Eastern VT-01 Vermont AG66 166.6750 AG28 170.0000 AG72 169.1500
Eastern WI-01 Wisconsin AG19 168.1250 AG51 168.3125 AG16 169.1750
Eastern WV-01 West Virginia AG80 166.9250 AG34 167.1750 AG77 168.5000
Great Basin ID-01 McCall AG87 168.6875 AG46 167.7000
Great Basin ID-02 Boise AG17 167.9875 AG75 168.0000 AG03 151.1450
Great Basin ID-03 Salmon AG23 166.7625 AG43 167.6000
Great Basin ID-04 Shoshone AG19 168.1250 AG54 168.5375 AG03 151.1450
Great Basin ID-05 Idaho Falls AG17 167.9875 AG15 167.5250 AG03 151.1450
Great Basin NV-01 Elko AG49 168.0375 AG08 166.8750
Great Basin NV-02 Winnemucca AG53 168.4875 AG06 166.8000
Great Basin NV-03 Carson City AG51 168.3125 AG08 166.8750
Great Basin NV-04 Ely AG43 167.6000 AG06 166.8000
Great Basin NV-05 Southern Nevada AG23 166.7625 AG08 166.8750
Great Basin NV-06 Battle Mountain AG15 167.5250 AG02 166.6375
Great Basin UT-01 Northern Utah AG74 154.3100 AG57 168.7250
Great Basin UT-02 Central Utah AG18 168.0125 AG21 168.1500
Great Basin UT-03 Color Country AG24 168.6375 AG19 168.1250
Great Basin UT-04 Canyon Country AG10 166.9375 AG44 167.6250
Great Basin UT-05 Uintah Basin AG18 168.0125 AG51 168.3125
Great Basin WY-09 Teton AG10 166.9375 AG19 168.1250 AG12 167.0750 AG60 169.1250
Northern Rockies ID-06 Coeur d Alene AG47 167.7250 AG54 168.5375 AG03 151.1450
Northern Rockies ID-07 Grangeville AG45 167.6500 AG17 167.9875 AG03 151.1450
Northern Rockies MT-01 Libby-Kalispell-Great Falls AG52 168.3875 AG29 166.9000
Northern Rockies MT-02 Missoula AG48 167.8875 AG72 169.1500
Northern Rockies MT-03 Bitterroot-Dillon AG52 168.3875 AG53 168.4875 AG-29 166.9000
Northern Rockies MT-04 Great Falls AG13 167.4250 AG66 166.3750
Northern Rockies MT-05 Bozeman-Yellowstone AG46 167.7000 AG69 169.2000
Northern Rockies MT-06 Lewistown AG52 168.3875 AG29 166.9000
Northern Rockies MT-07 Billings AG48 167.8875 AG28 170.0000
Northern Rockies MT-08 Miles City AG52 168.3875 AG66 166.3750 AG13 167.4250
Northern Rockies ND-01 Northwest AG13 167.4250 AG53 168.4875
Northern Rockies ND-02 Southwest AG13 167.4250 AG53 168.4875
Northern Rockies ND-03 Northeast AG53 168.4875 AG13 167.4250
Northern Rockies ND-04 Southeast AG53 168.4875 AG13 167.4250
Northwest OR-01 Northwest Oregon AG50 168.2875 AG09 166.9125
Northwest OR-02 Medford-Coos Bay AG51 168.3125 AG62 169.3625
Northwest OR-03 Bend AG37 167.3000 AG61 169.2875
Northwest OR-04 Lakeview AG41 167.4750 AG01 151.3100 (156.7 Tone) AG24 168.6375
Northwest OR-05 John Day AG38 167.3750 AG24 168.6375
Northwest OR-06 La Grande AG44 167.6250 AG09 166.9125
Northwest OR-07 Burns-Vale AG42 167.5500 AG62 169.3625
Northwest WA-01 Western Washington AG41 167.4750 AG28 170.0000
Northwest WA-02 Northeast Washington AG51 168.3125 AG66 166.6750
Northwest WA-03 Southeast Washington AG40 167.4500 AG12 167.0750
Operations Northern California CA-01 Northern AG43 167.6000 AG08 166.8750
Operations Northern California CA-02 Southern AG14 167.5000 AG59 169.1125
Operations Southern California CA-03 Northern AG41 167.4750 AG24 168.6375
Operations Southern California CA-04 Southern AG53 167.4875 AG59 169.1125
Rocky Mountain CO-01 Craig, Northern AG56 168.6625 AG58 169.0875
Rocky Mountain CO-02 Craig, SouthernAG07 166.8500 AG13 167.4250
Rocky Mountain CO-03 Grand JunctionAG49 168.0375 AG09 166.9125
Rocky MountainCO-04 MontroseAG15 167.5250 AG07 166.8500 AG13 167.4250
Rocky MountainCO-05 DurangoAG09 166.9125 AG07 166.8500
Rocky MountainCO-06 Fort CollinsAG09 166.9125 AG58 169.0875
Rocky MountainCO-07 PuebloAG35 167.2250 AG58 169.0875
Rocky MountainKS-01 PuebloAG02 166.6375 AG06 166.8000 AG35 167.2250
Rocky MountainNE-01 NebraskaAG25 168.7500 AG05 166.7500 AG29 166.9000
Rocky MountainSD-01 Northwest AG35 167.2250 AG31 166.7875 AG24 168.6375
Rocky MountainSD-02 Southwest AG35 167.2250 AG24 168.6375 AG25 168.7500
Rocky MountainSD-03 Northeast AG31 166.7875 AG02 166.6375
Rocky MountainSD-04 Southeast AG31 166.7875 AG76 167.1250
Rocky MountainWY-01 Cody, Western AG13 167.4250 AG35 167.2250 AG12 167.0750
Rocky MountainWY-02 Cody, Eastern AG14 167.5000 AG62 169.3625
Rocky MountainWY-03 Casper AG15 167.5250 AG35 167.2250 AG31 166.7875
Rocky MountainWY-04 Rawlins, Eastern AG10 166.9375 AG15 167.5250
Rocky MountainWY-05 Cody, Southern AG12 167.0750 AG13 167.4250 AG35 167.2250
Rocky MountainWY-06 Rawlins, Western AG35 167.2250 AG14 167.5000
Rocky MountainWY-07 Casper, Southeastern AG12 167.0750 AG15 167.5250
SouthernAL-1 Alabama AG50 168.2875 AG58 169.0875
SouthernAR-01 Arkansas Central West AG15 167.5250 AG06 166.8000 AG27 166.8250
SouthernAR-02 Arkansas Northwest AG44 167.6250 AG12 167.0750 AG83 168.2750
SouthernAR-03 Arkansas Eastern AG42 167.5500 AG78 168.5750 AG79 169.4000
SouthernFL-01 Pensacola AG13 167.4250 AG02 166.6375 AG06 166.8000 AG82 168.3000
SouthernFL-02 Tallahassee AG15 167.5250 AG71 168.6750
SouthernFL-03 Gainesville AG44 167.6250 AG17 167.9875 AG71 168.6750
SouthernFL-04 Titusville AG79 169.4000 AG34 167.175 AG29 166.9000
SouthernFL-05 Ocala AG78 168.5750
SouthernFL-06 Everglades AG44 167.6250 AG85 168.3250 AG76 167.1250 AG59 169.1125
SouthernGA-01 Georgia AG13 167.4250 AG81 166.9500 AG54 168.5375
SouthernKY-01 Kentucky AG35 167.2250 AG06 166.8000 AG58 169.0875
SouthernLA-01 Louisiana AG38 167.3750 AG81 166.9500 AG58 169.0875
SouthernMS-01 Mississippi AG40 167.4500 AG76 167.1250 AG82 168.3000
SouthernNC-01 North Carolina AG13 167.4250 AG07 166.8500 AG54 168.5375
SouthernOK-01 Northeast Oklahoma AG35 167.2250 AG02 166.6375 AG28 170.0000
SouthernOK-02 Southeast Oklahoma AG35 167.2250
SouthernOK-03 Western Oklahoma AG35 167.2250
SouthernPR-01 Puerto Rico AG15 167.5250
Southern SC-01 South Carolina AG15 167.5250 AG07 166.8500 AG54 168.5375
Southern TN-01 Tennessee AG46 167.7000 AG29 166.9000 AG77 168.5000
Southern TX-01 Northwest Texas AG02 166.6375 AG40 167.4500 AG08 166.8750
Southern TX-02 North Central Texas AG07 166.8500 AG40 167.4500 AG10 166.9375 AG85 168.3250
Southern TX-03 Northeast Texas AG09 166.9125 AG34 167.1750 AG41 167.4750
Southern TX-04 Southwestern TexasAG09 166.9125 AG40 167.4500
Southern TX-05 South Central TexasAG02 166.6375 AG40 167.4500 AG54 168.5375
Southern TX-06 Southeast TexasAG07 166.8500 AG40 167.4500 AG58 169.0875
Southern VA-01 VirginiaAG15 167.5250 AG06 166.8000
Southwest AZ-01 FlagstaffAG32 166.9625 AG56 168.6625
Southwest AZ-02 Show LowAG34 167.1750 AG47 167.7250 AG26 166.6875
Southwest AZ-03 TucsonAG32 166.9625 AG41 167.4750 AG56 168.6625
Southwest AZ-05 WilliamsAG25 168.7500 AG17 167.9875
Southwest AZ-06 PhoenixAG19 168.1250 AG61 169.2875 AG27 166.8250
Southwest AZ-07 PrescottAG34 167.1750 AG73 151.1750 (136.5 tone) AG44 167.6250
Southwest NM-01 AlbuquerqueAG53 168.4875 AG18 168.0125
Southwest NM-02 Alamogordo AG20 168.1750 AG25 168.7500 AG56 168.6625
Southwest NM-03 Silver City AG89 167.7000 (110.9 tone) AG62 169.3625 AG88 169.1250 (110.9 tone)
Southwest NM-04 Santa Fe AG51 168.3125 AG62 169.3625
Southwest NM-05 Taos AG56 168.6625 AG60 169.1250
Southwest TX-01 Northwest AG02 166.6375 AG28 170.0000
Southwest TX-02 North Central AG07 166.8500 AG28 170.000

(1) Official 2016 SACC source shows Air to Ground Channel 69 as 159.4500. AN official 2016 nationwide source shows Channel 69 as 169.2000 for use in the Bozeman-Yosemite NP zone. Previous year's data show Channel 73 as 169.2000. The conflicts cannot be resolved with existing source data.

Air VHF AM ("Victor") Frequencies

The FAA has jurisdiction over the VHF AM aviation band. Authorizations are issued each year by April 1st and expire on November 1st. All frequencies are subject to change each year.

All dispatch zones have 1-3 air-to-air frequencies assigned for initial attack, depending on the wildland fire workload of those zones.

Temporary, incident specific frequencies, are assigned to extended attack incidents, by NIFC following authorization by the FAA. The table below shows permanent and nationally assigned frequencies.

Frequency Type Description Notes
123.9000BMMulticom - AA/RW/FW(2)
122.8500BMMulticom - AA/RW/FW(2)

  • AA = Air to Air, AG = Air to Ground, FW = Fixed Wing (Airplanes), RW = Rotary Wing (Helicopters)
  • (1) National Multicom-Natural Resources. This is a nationwide assigned frequency that may be used by any aircraft, at any time, involved in any natural resource/environmental activity, be that federal, state or local. Should be used not to exceed 40 nautical miles at 10,000 feet.
  • (2) Multicom is defined as: activities of a temporary, seasonal, emergency nature, etc, and for airports with no tower, FSS (Flight Service Station, or UNICOM (private fixed base operator).
  • (3) These frequencies are not designated for exclusive use by the federal government or wildland fire suppression operations.
  • Information per FAA directive dated November, 2012 and posted on the NIFC website.

Smokejumping & Helicopter Rappelling/RADS

Air-to-Ground Frequency for Smokejumping & Helicopter Rappelling/RADS and Smokejumper Ground Tactical Frequency

Frequency Type Tone Notes
168.5500M123.0Smokejumpers Air to Ground (1)
168.5500M110.9Rappel/RADS Air to Ground (1) (2)
168.3500M123.0Smokejumper Ground Tactical

  • (1) Nationwide exclusive use authorization.
  • (2) Rope Assisted Delivery System (RADS) is the delivery of cargo using a "sling" line attached to the underside of a helicopter. The cargo is contained in a large rope net. The length of the sling line varies depending on terrain and the heights of trees. Sling lines are then called "long lines" or "short lines."

National Airtanker Base Information and Radio Frequencies

This information was confirmed from several credible sources as of 2014.

These are VHF-AM "Victor" frequencies.

These frequencies are assigned and authorized by the FAA, not NIFC. They are subject to annual revision by the FAA.

Most bases use 123.9750. All bases are listed, in spite of the apparent redundancy, to show where current air tanker and retardant reload bases are located.

The listed bases may have season long or partial season air tankers, or may only be used for reloading retardant for an active incident nearby.

Most air tankers do not stay in one place for an entire season. They might start in the southwestern U.S. in late April or May, When monsoonal rains arrive in early July they are moved to areas where the burning conditions have become critical. Contracts schedules are determined in late winter and early spring, with a set schedule that moves the aircraft to match the average or typical peak fire season of each geographical area. This schedule is subject to change if the fire season varies from the projection.

State owned air tankers in California are not national resources and with very few exceptions don't leave the state. Most stay at the same base, but are temporarily pre-positioned in other areas as conditions dictate.

SEAT stands for "Single Engine Air Tankers." They are similar in appearance to crop dusters as they are modified agricultural aircraft. Retardant capacity ranges from 400-800 gallons.

MAFFS stands for Modular Airborne Fire Fighting System. There are (8) C-130 (Hercules) military aircraft that are owned by the U.S. Forest Service and maintained and flown with military personnel. They can be mobilized or pre-positioned at a limited number of civilian airtanker bases when all civilian air tankers (under contract) have been committed or are expected to be committed. They are housed at one Air Force base and three National Guard bases. Those bases are: the 146th Airlift Wing, California National Guard, Port Hueneme; the 302nd Airlift Wing, Air Force Reserve, Peterson Air Force Base, Colorado; the 145th Airlift Wing, North Carolina Air National Guard, Charlotte; and the 153rd Airlift Wing, Wyoming Air National Guard, Cheyenne.

The following notations are used in the tables below
  • (1) S2=Cal Fire air tanker, L=Federal large air tanker, S=Single Engine Air Tanker (SEAT), M=Modular Airborne Fire Fighting System (MAFFS), V= Very Large Air Tanker (VLAT)
  • (2) Notes may include the following information:
  • Italicized = Bases where air tankers are reloaded only. All the listed bases are able to reload the aircraft types listed for that base and most of them have air tankers assigned to them for a period during the season. Others are not assigned air tankers on the schedule and are called "reload bases." Short term overnight staging of aircraft at reload bases occurs when a nearby incident is going to use them the next day. When they are no longer needed for an incident they are released to return to their assigned base.
  • Most MAFFS air tanker bases are for reloading only and cannot accommodate overnight parking. MAFFS reloading bases will be italicized and show "Reload Only." followed by a number that can be accommodated at the same time, e.g. "Reload Only (1)". Those that can accommodate overnight parking are noted with "overnight," followed by a number that can be parked. For example: Overnight (4). Obviously, overnight bases can reload also.
  • Bases with the notation "SEAT" are only capable of loading SEAT aircraft and none of the larger airtankers.
  • Large air tankers consist of a variety of aircraft with retardant capacities of 2,000-3,000 gallons.
  • Very Large Air tankers (VLAT) are modified 747's and DC-10's. The 747 has a retardant capacity of 20,000 gallons and the DC-10 12,000 gallons.
  • Agency abbreviations: BIA=Bureau of Indian Affairs; BLM=Bureau of Land Management; USFS=United States Forest Service

Alaska Geographical Area Coordination Center
Frequency State Air Tanker Base FAA ID Aircraft Capability (1) Managing Agency & Notes (2)
123.9750AKDelta JunctionBIGL-SDOF
123.9750AKFort Wainwright (Fairbanks) FBKLBLM
123.9750AKTanacross (Tok)TSGL-SDOF

DOF=Alaska Division of Forestry

California Geographical Area Coordination Centers (North Ops and South Ops)
Frequency State Air Tanker Base FAA ID Aircraft Capability (1) Managing Agency & Notes (2)
UnkCAAlturasAATSBLM SEAT Reload only
123.9750CABishopBIHS2-L-SUSFS Reload only
123.9750CACastle (Merced)MERS2-L-SUSFS Reload only Replaced Stockton as of 2014
123.9750CAChicoCICS2-L-S-MCal Fire--M Reload only (1)
123.9750CAColumbiaO22S2-SCal Fire
123.9750CAFortuna (Rohnerville)FOTS2-L-SCal Fire
123.9750CAFresnoFATS2-L-S-MUSFS--M Reload only (1)
123.9750CAGrass ValleyGOOS2-SCal Fire
123.9750CAHemet (Ryan Field)HMTS2-SCal Fire
123.9750CAHollister3O7S2-SCal Fire
123.9750CALancaster (Fox Field)WJFS2-L-S-MUSFS--M Reload only (1)
126.9250CAMcClellan'MCCS2-L-S-M-VCal Fire--M Reload only (1)
123.9750CAPaso RoblesPRBS2-L-S-MCal Fire--M Reload only (1)
123.9750CAPortervillePTVS2-L-SUSFS/Cal Fire
123.9750CARamonaRNMS2-L*-SCal Fire--*Will only accommodate the P3 Orion
123.9750CAReddingRDDS2-L-SCal Fire/USFS
123.9750CASan BernardinoSBDS2-L-S-M-VUSFS/BLM--M Overnight (1)
123.9750CASanta MariaSMXS2-L-S-MUSFS--M Reload only (1)
UnkCASonomaSTSS2-L-SCal Fire
123.9750CASanta RosaSTSS2-L-SCal Fire
123.9750CASiskiyou Co. (Montague)SIYS2-L-SUSFS Reload Base
N/ACAStocktonSCKClosed-replaced by Castle 2014
123.9750CAUkiahUKIS2-SCal Fire
TBDCAVictorvilleVCVS2-VCal Fire Reload Base

Cal Fire=California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection. Cal Fire uses 23 Grumman S2T "Turbine Tankers." Initially 23 of these aircraft were obtained by the U.S. Forest Service from the military as surplus. The Forest Service retained ownership and leased the planes to Cal Fire. The state replaced all 23 of these aircraft with newly built planes between 2002 and 2005 and now have ownership. Their capacity is 1200 gallons of retardant and are highly maneuverable. They are unique in that they are new aircraft built as airtankers, are owned by a state and are not used planes with a history of military use.

Eastern Geographical Area Coordination Center
Frequency State Air Tanker Base FAA ID Aircraft Capability (1) Managing Agency & Notes (2)
123.9750MNEly SeaplaneMN41S & Seaplane AircraftUSFS SEAT
123.9750MNPrincetonPNMSDNR SEAT

DNR = Minnesota Department of Natural Resources

Great Basin Geographical Area Coordination Center
Frequency State Air Tanker Base FAA ID Aircraft Capability (1) Managing Agency & Notes (2)
123.9250NVBattle MountainBAML-SBLM
133.5750IDBoiseBOIL-S-M-VUSFS--M Overnight (1); V (2)
124.3750UTCedar CityCDCL-S-MBLM M Reload only
123.9750UTFillmoreU19SBLM SEAT
125.8250UTHill Air Force BaseHIFL-S-MUSFS M Reload only
123.9750NVJean0L7SBLM SEAT
123.9750NVLincoln County1L1SBLM SEAT
123.9750NV/ORMcDermitt26USBLM SEAT (Winnemucca District staffed)
123.9750NVMesquite67LSBLM SEAT
123.9750NVMinden-TahoeMEV??? Status unknown-replaced by Stead?
123.9750IDMountain HomeU76SBLM SEAT
123.9750UTNephiU14SBLM SEAT
UnknownUTPanaca1L1SBLM SEAT
123.9750IDPocatelloPIHL-S-MBLM M Reload only
123.9750NVReno (Stead)4SDL-S-MBLM M Reload only
123.9750UTSt. GeorgeSGUSBLM SEAT
125.8250UTTooele Valley, ErdaTVYSBLM SEAT
125.8250IDTwin FallsTWFL-S-MBLM M Reload only
123.9750NVWinnemuccaWMCSBLM SEAT

Northern Geographical Area Coordination Center
Frequency State Air Tanker Base FAA ID Aircraft Capability (1) Managing Agency & Notes (2)
123.9750MTBig Timber6SOSUSFS SEAT
123.9750MTBroadus00FSBLM SEAT
123.9750IDCoeur d'AleneCOEL-SUSFS
123.9750MTCostripM46SBLM SEAT
123.9750MTEkalaka97MSBLM SEAT
123.9750MTGlacier (Kalispell)GPI??? Status Unknown
123.9750IDGrangevilleS80SUSFS SEAT
123.9750MTHamilton6S5SUSFS SEAT
123.9750MTJordanJDNSBLM SEAT
123.9250MTLewistownLWTSBLM SEAT
123.9750MTMiles CityMLSSBLM SEAT
123.9750MTPlainsS34SUSFS SEAT
123.9750MTRonan7S0DBIA SEAT
123.9750MTWest YellowstoneWYSL-SUSFS

Northwest Geographical Area Coordination Center
Frequency State Air Tanker Base FAA ID Aircraft Capability (1) Managing Agency & Notes (2)
123.9750ORJohn DayGCDSUSFS
123.9750ORKlamath Falls (Kingsley Field)LMTL-S-MUSFS M Overnight (2)
123.9750ORLa GrandeLGDL-SUSFS
123.9750ORLakeview (Oregon)LKVSBLM SEAT
123.9750WAMoses LakeMWHL-S-M-VUSFS M-Overnight (2); V (1)
123.9750OROntario, OregonONOSBLM SEAT
123.9750ORPendletonPDTSUSFS SEAT
123.9750ORPrinevilleS39S??? SEAT Status?
123.9750ORPortland (Troutdale)TTDL-SUSFS
123.9750ORValeS49S??? SEAT Status?
123.9750WAWenatcheeEATSUSFS SEAT

Rocky Mountain Geographical Area Coordination Center
Frequency State Air Tanker Base FAA ID Aircraft Capability (1) Managing Agency & Notes (2)
123.9250COCanon City1V6SBLM SEAT
123.9750WYCasperCPRSBLM SEAT
123.9750COCortezCEZSBLM SEAT
123.9750CODurangoDROL-S-MUSFS M Reload only
122.2250CODenver (Jeffco)BJCL-S-MUSFS M Reload only
123.7250COFort Collins (Loveland)FNLSCSFS SEAT
123.9750COGrand JunctionGJTL-S-MBLM M Reload only
120.1250SDHot SpringsHSRSAgency Unknown SEAT
123.9750COKremmling20VSBLM SEAT
120.1250SDLemmonLEMSAgency Unknown SEAT
123.9750COMontroseMTJSBLM SEAT
120.1250SDPierrePIRSAgency Unknown SEAT
124.4250COPuebloPUBL-S-MUSFS M Reload only (1)
123.9750SDRapid CityRPDL-SUSFS
123.9750WYRawlinsRWLSBLM SEAT
123.9750WYWorlandWRLSBLM SEAT

CSFS=Colorado State Forest Service

Southern Geographical Area Coordination Center
Frequency State Air Tanker Base FAA ID Aircraft Capability (1) Managing Agency & Notes (2)
133.5000TNKnoxvilleTYS??USFS CWN
122.2250FLLake CityLCQL-SUSFS
120.8750FLOcalaOCFL-SUSFS Portable CWN
124.4250FLPunta GordaPGDUnkUnknown Agency Portable CWN

TFS=Texas (State of) Forest Service; NCFS=North Carolina (State of) Forest Service; CWN=Call When Needed

Southwest Geographical Area Coordination Center
Frequency State Air Tanker Base FAA ID Aircraft Capability (1) Managing Agency & Notes (2)
126.0750NMAlbuquerqueABQL-S-MUSFS M Overnight (2)
123.9750AZFort Huachuca (Libby, Sierra Vista)FHUL-SUSFS
123.9750AZKingmanIGMSBLM SEAT
123.9750AZPhoenix (Mesa Gateway)LWAL-S-MUSFS M Overnight (1)
123.9750AZPrescottPRCL-S-MUSFS M Reload only (1)
126.0750NMRoswell (Industrial)ROWL-S-MBLM M Reload only (1)
123.9750AZSaffordSADSBLM SEAT
126.0750NMSilver CitySVCL-SUSFS
123.9750AZWhiteriverE24SBIA SEAT

Federal Government Common

These are used for local tacticals in some areas, however they are common for the entire Federal government.

These frequencies are often used as tacticals, or commons, in National Parks.

See Federal Government Itinerant. As of January, 2008 the NTIA Redbook contained direction that 168.3500 and 163.1000 are to be used as a repeater pair, with 168.3500 being the input and 163.1000 being the output. This repeater pair is to be used for temporary, or itinerant, repeater placement. Simplex use is permitted if the four new federal common frequencies are already in use. Some agencies are now using the new commons in place of this repeater pair's frequencies. In spite of the direction there is widespread use of these two frequencies for simplex, tactical and travel purposes.

Government Common
Frequency Input Type Notes

  • (1) Often used as an incident heliport "deck frequency" for coordinating air traffic near and at tempoary incident heliports.
  • (2) This shows up as "Travel Net" on dozens of local and GACC channel plans in the western states.
  • (3) New federal simplex common frequencies allocated in 2005.

Intra-Crew Communications

Federal Agency Common Frequencies

Handheld use only.

Crews are encouraged to use Continuous Tone Coded Subaudible Squelch (CTCSS), or Network Access Code (NAC) while in digital operation, to reduce interference from other crews or other federal uses. This is not an exclusive assignment as these are VHF federal common frequencies and may be used by any agency at any time or location. These crew nets are to be used for crew logistics only and tactical communications are not allowed.

Frequency Type Description
163.7125MNational Intra-Crew Mobilization at Crew Base & Travel Net
167.1375MPrimary Intra-Crew Communications at Incident Scene
168.6125MSecondary Intra-Crew Communications at Incident Scene
173.6250MTertiary Intra-Crew Communications at Incident Scene

Intra-Squad Radio (ISR)

Family Radio Service (FRS) communications equipment shall not be used by anyone associated with federal wildland fire incidents or in instances that safeguard human life or property. This applies to agency, military, and contractor personnel. NTIA Manual, section 7.5.8, states: “federal entities may not purchase and operate FRS radios for planned communications operations that safeguard human life or property”. Additionally, the Departments of Agriculture and The Interior have policies limiting the use of FRS radios.

There is a viable option called Intra-Squad Radio (ISR). These radios are used by the United States Marine Corps (USMC) for tactical communications and the NIICD has been given authorization to operate on the frequencies.

Intra-Squad Radio Frequencies
Frequency Type Channel
396.87500MIntra-Squad Radio Channel 1
397.12500MIntra-Squad Radio Channel 2
397.17500MIntra-Squad Radio Channel 3
397.37500MIntra-Squad Radio Channel 4
397.42500MIntra-Squad Radio Channel 5
397.47500MIntra-Squad Radio Channel 6
397.55000MIntra-Squad Radio Channel 7
397.95000MIntra-Squad Radio Channel 8
398.05000MIntra-Squad Radio Channel 9
399.42500MIntra-Squad Radio Channel 10
399.47500MIntra-Squad Radio Channel 11
399.72500MIntra-Squad Radio Channel 12
399.92500MIntra-Squad Radio Channel 13
399.97500MIntra-Squad Radio Channel 14

Non-Federal Forest Firefighting Agencies

The following frequencies may be authorized to fixed, land and mobile stations operated by non-Federal forest firefighting agencies on a secondary non-interfering basis.

See: NTIA Manual Chapter 4 US Footnotes US8 and 47CFR90.265(c)

West of the Mississippi River these frequencies are also used for air-to-ground and/or the local nets of National Forests.

Non-Federal Forest Firefighting
Frequency Type Description Notes
170.4750BMEast of Miss. River
171.4250BMEast of Miss. River
171.5750BMEast of Miss. River
172.2750BMEast of Miss. River(1)
170.4250BMWest of Miss. River
170.5750BMWest of Miss. River
171.4750BMWest of Miss. River(1)
172.2250BMWest of Miss. River
172.3750BMWest of Miss. River

  • (1) Frequency may also be used by non-federal conservation agencies for repeater operation only.

CTCSS Tones and NAC (Network Access Code - Digital P25)

Tone Number (1) Tone Frequency NAC Digital NAC Hex (2) Notes

  • (1) The correlation between specific tones and tone labels shown is standard in California, but not necessarily in other areas of the country. See note (2) for additional information.
  • (2) An official correlation between tones and hex NAC does not exist nationwide, i.e. 110.9 = $455 in California, but might be $7G9 or any random hex NAC in other parts of the country, even within the same agency. The FIRESCOPE (FIrefighting RESources in California Oganized for Potential Emergencies, a fire agency/department "all risk incident" coordinating organization) tone list uses a CTCSS to hex NAC conversion table proposed when digital radio first came into use. The FCC did not choose to make the table mandatory, however, many fire agencies have chosen to use it.
  • (3) Tones 1-16 are standard nationwide for the U.S. Forest Service. Some Forest Service regions have yet to comply and some have given the tones different number designations, i.e. The being the numbering with Tone 1 being 100.0, Tone 2 being 103.5, Tone 3 107.2, etc. It is likely that it will take several years before all USFS Regions are in compliance.
  • (4) Beginning in 2014 FIRESCOPE added tones 17-32 to this list. If a radio only has a capacity of 16 tones, the first 16 are programmed into the radio. The widely used 16 channel per group Bendix-King radios have a capacity of 16 switchable tones and as a result little use of Tones 17-32 is anticipated on wildland fires.
  • As noted in (3) above tone use is not standardized at the federal or state level for wildland fire agencies or departments. This can be confusing, especially when fire or law enforcement personnel in one area of the country are sent to others areas of the country where the workload is peaking. Example fire prevention personnel in northern California are often sent to Arizona and New Mexico in April, May and June during the peak human caused fire season in the southwest U.S. Unless both mobile and handheld radios are cloned disparate tones have to be dealt with. Personnel and resources on large "national" incidents have their handheld radios cloned at the incident scene, so the need for standardization on these types of incidents is not as great. Agencies that border other states and/or regions making initial attacks across boundary lines can encounter difficulties when different tones and different tone labels are used. There is probably no better example of this than the BLM in Nevada. Tones used and how they are labeled differ among the 6 districts in that state.
  • Difficulties with disparate tones were encountered on the Yarnell Hill Fire in Arizona, June 2013, where 19 members of the Granite Mountain Interagency Hotshot Crew were killed. Communications during initial attack and when fires blowup are challenging enough without adding the disparate tone issue.
  • In many areas of the country the USFS, NPS, BLM and USFWS are migrating toward the 16 California standard tones listed here, even without national direction. At some point in the future national direction regarding tones might be forthcoming.

Related Database Links

Related External Links

Return to DB page: Natl Incident Radio Support Cache / Natl Interagency Fire Ctr
Return to Wiki pages: Common Frequencies, Common Public Safety, Federal/Non-Federal Interoperability, National Interagency Fire Center, United States Forest Service (CA)

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