NOTE:  Final edits for this article are being approved by NIFC/USFS; Contact Sean Triplett (setriplett@fs.fed.us) or Cole Belongie (cbelongie@fs.fed.us) with questions.

The National Incident Service (NIS) is available for use by Intterra clients for dynamic sharing of wildfire incident mapping with the National Interagency Fire Center’s (NIFC) Fire Enterprise Geospatial Portal (EGP) and partners.  This article provides a NIS overview, describes three levels of access (services) that are available and recommended practices (settings and use) for Intterra clients for two anticipated use scenarios, as well as additional reference information. 
Intterra clients should encourage IMT’s to use the NIS service for incident maps. This is the best solution for shared incident mapping.  Triage was added to NIS in 2019. 

National Incident Service (NIS) Overview

  • The NIS is intended for use on incidents of any size.  All users will have access to the same feature service in their web maps, which will help streamline data sharing and transitioning between teams; this means data can be shared easily and in near real-time with fire personnel at any time or location.  The service is hosted by the Fire EGP.
  • A growing number of IMTs are using NIS for collecting field mapping and creating an incident IAP map.
  • The NIS also serves as the perimeter database for the INFORM application. All perimeter edits performed using the INFORM application suite are managed and maintained within NIS.


Intterra Access to NIS

Three levels of access (services) are available for Intterra clients for use in the web application.

  1. National Incidents (NIS) - Approved
    • Read-only view of features in an Approved status
    • The same service as viewed in the EGP.
    • Similar function as old IAP Map (FIMT) layer.
  2. National Incidents (NIS) - All
    • Read-only view of features in all statuses
    • Similar function as viewing field mark-ups, initial attack mapping, and collection.
  3. Edit National Incidents (NIS)
    • Edit access of features in all statuses
    • ‘Approve’ features to be shared.
    • Intterra editors can edit all features but cannot delete features created by other users (i.e. - EGP or GISS).
Note: NIS is only available in the Field Tool to users with an EGP account.

The NIS incident features become visible in the National Incidents (NIS) - Approved layer and EGP when the three following NIS attributes are set by an editor:

  • Access = ‘Cooperators’ or ‘Public’
  • Status = ‘Approved’
  •  IsVisible - ‘Yes’


GISS Access to NIS

GIS Specialists using NIS for incident mapping on incidents will likely use a GIS app for editing.  Click here for a GISS workflow overview.  Permissions to access this service will be managed by the EGP.  The EGP access and training content reside here.  If you/any of your teams wish to edit or contribute to the NIS directly using a GIS app, contact Skip Edel for an account and privileges (setriplett@fs.fed.us).    


Recommended Practices for Intterra Clients

Intterra clients have different needs related to wildfire and shared incident mapping.  Here are two scenarios that are expected to be the most common:

Scenario 1: Edit using Intterra's Add/Edit Incidents and view only NIS

This is a status-quo scenario where NIS simply replaces the functionality of the IAP Map layer and tool for viewing IAP maps. 

This is best suited for clients who:

  • Primarily ‘Metro’- lean on wildfire partners to manage and map wildfires when they occur.
  • Don’t have a need to share incident mapping outside their Intterra system.
  • Want to keep incident mapping simple for users and admins.
Anticipated workflow:

  • All incident editing occurs using the Intterra incident features. 
  • Users will:
    • Continue to use your Intterra incident layers to map your local incidents.
      • Viewable in your system only.
      • A potentially larger pool of editors who can edit only your incidents.
      • Ability to use the Field Tool and all tools in Intterra.
      • Includes HAZMAT, USAR, and Hazard incidents
    • Use National Incidents (NIS) - Approved to
      • View and feel comfortable with the new service.
      • Access maps created by Incident Management Teams and other EGP partners.
To support this use of NIS:

  • Provide the National Incidents (NIS) - Approved layer to all roles and workspaces with access to your incident information. 

Scenario 2: Edit using both Intterra's Add/Edit Incidents and NIS

This scenario adds the capability to share wildfire incident mapping from local systems to the EGP and partners.

This is best suited for clients who:

  • Primarily ‘Wildfire’ responsibility.
  • Have a need to share incident mapping to the EGP and partners.
  • Have the capacity and interest to manage incidents in a more complex workflow.
Anticipated workflow:

  • Intterra incident editing continues to be used for all risk incidents and for initial attack wildfire incidents where there is no need to share directly ‘outside’ your system. 
  • NIS editing is used to share incident mapping to EGP partners to:
    • Provide a seamless transition to and support of an IMT and/or other EGP partners. 
    • Provide fire perimeters to EGP/IRWIN/INFORMS for areas where mapping is not currently being provided the national system.
  • ‘Edit NIS’ users will:
    • Add/edit or copy your Intterra mapping to NIS.
    • Edit the NIS access field to ‘Approved’ for sharing with all users.
    • Add perimeters and assign the proper IRWIN ID.
    • Not be able to delete a feature created by an external user (EGP, GISS, or other state partner).
    • Coordinate use with other EGP partners using NIS on an incident - this is a shared service.
    • Continue to manage features they create unless the incident is taken over by an IMT and managed by a GISS.
  • ‘NIS - ALL’ users will:
    • View all NIS features, including proposed.
    • Need to understand that not all features have been reviewed and approved. 
To support this use of NIS (in addition to above):

  • Provide the Edit National Incidents (NIS) layer to a role(s) with a small number of confident users for the purpose of supporting IMT’s, sharing outside your system, and the EGP/IRWIN.   The Operations or Plans workspace, if available, may be the best work location for editing for select roles.
  • Provide the National Incidents (NIS) - All layer to role(s) with a need to view ‘proposed’ incident mapping (markups) created by your editors, IMT’s and partner agencies.  This will generally be higher level operations/plans roles (access to edit your Intterra incident mapping) and available in ‘incident’ workspaces (except where it duplicates Edit NIS).

Other scenarios

NIS only for viewing and editing incidents may be a viable use case for wildfire only clients, especially as gain experience in coming years. This and other options can be discussed with your account rep. 


Intterra Client Considerations

Because the NIS is an external service to Intterra, some tools within Intterra designed to use Intterra incident data will not work with the NIS layer.

  • NIS is not available in the Field Tool unless the user is logged in with an EGP account.
  • Incident ‘List’ Tool (zoom to, rename, delete) and PIO require Intterra incidents.
  • Briefing Mode, Active Incident Report, State Wildfire Actively Map, and Incident Interactive Tables will only include IRWIN incidents and data.  % owner acres will not work. 


Troubleshooting

  • Features ‘Approved’ by the IMT’s GISS are missing in my National Incidents (NIS) - Approved layer.
    • Make sure the GISS has also changed the Access field from ‘Incident’ to ‘Cooperator’ or ‘Public’.