User Roles

The following sections explain what each user type is allowed to do at the system level in WFDSS. To request additional user roles in Production or Training, contact your Geographic Area Editor. To change your privileges for a specific incident, contact the author of the incident or the geographic area editor.

The user roles of Dispatcher, Author, and Geographic Area Editor are mutually exclusive.

Note: There are also separate user functions associated with the decision-making process. Those functions are incident-specific and not dependent on the system-level roles described here (for example, owner and approver are incident-specific).


All users who have access to WFDSS have at least the following privileges, but cannot make changes to the WFDSS data unless they have incident- or analysis-specific privileges: 

  • View incident information for all WFDSS incidents and groups.
  • View completed analyses and reports.

Last updated on 3/1/2011 5:23:51 PM.


  • Enters information for a new WFDSS incident. 
  • Edits incident information for incidents they create, unless a decision is being reviewed, even if an owner is assigned to the incident. 
  • Uploads shape files (except MAPs or Objective Shapes) for incidents in their geographic area. Shape Privileges by User Role further discusses the Dispatcher's role in relation to shapes.
  • Deletes an incident in their geographic area if it was created within the past 72 hours and no one is assigned as owner.
  • Creates Relative Risk Assessments for incidents in their geographic area and without an owner.
  • Uploads incidents from CAD (Computer Aided Dispatch) for their geographic area.
  • Runs automated Basic and Short-Term Fire Behavior analyses for incidents in their geographic area.

Last updated on 3/1/2012 3:31:19 PM.


  • Enters information for a new WFDSS incident. Authors own the incidents they create until they transfer ownership to someone else.
  • Edits incident information for incidents they create, unless incident ownership has been reassigned, or while a decision is being reviewed. 
  • Can receive incident ownership when someone transfers an incident to them.
  • Grants incident privileges to other users for incidents they have created, or own. 
  • Uploads shapes and other files.
  • Runs simple (automated) fire behavior analyses. 
  • Requests an analyst's assistance for fire behavior modeling. 
  • Creates and edits decisions.
  • Assigns incident editors, reviewers, and approvers to the incident.
  • Requests decision reviews.
  • Closes an incident.

Last updated on 3/1/2011 5:26:14 PM.

Geographic Area Editor

  • Edits any WFDSS incident within their geographic area (GA). GA Editors have implicit ownership of incidents within their GA. 
  • Uploads shape files incidents in their geographic area. Shape Privileges by User Role further discusses the Geographic Area Editor's role in relation to shapes.
  • Transfers ownership of any incident within their GA. 
  • Grants or removes privileges for Viewer, Author, Dispatcher, Fire Behavior Specialist, and Data Manager roles in their GA.
  • Disables user accounts within their GA.
  • Does not have privileges specific to Fire Behavior Analysts or Administrators.
  • Cannot view disabled accounts for users in other GAs.
  • Can share filters (incident, analysis, and intelligence) with other WFDSS users.

Last updated on 6/16/2015 5:17:12 PM.

National Editor

  • Has maximum authority relative to WFDSS incident management. Have implicit ownership of all incidents in WFDSS.
  • Can delete any incident within WFDSS if a decision has not been published for the incident.
  • Can delete fire behavior analyses, but does not possess implicit ownership of the analyses. 
  • Does not have privileges specific to Fire Model Analysts or Administrators.
  • Cannot grant user privileges or see the Administration tab.
  • Can share filters (incident, analysis, and intelligence) with other WFDSS users.
  • Can set an incident's Jurisdictional Unit at Point of Origin.

Last updated on 6/16/2015 5:12:56 PM.

Fire Behavior Specialist

Users requesting this role should have previous fire behavior modeling experience, including evaluating and modifying landscape files, historic climate, and forecasted weather.

  • Conducts "assisted" fire behavior analyses and modify inputs as needed. 
  • Accepts (or rejects) the results of the fire behavior analyses. 
  • Grants viewing and editing privileges to other WFDSS users for analyses they have created. 
  • Interprets fire behavior analyses for other users.
  • Runs or copies fire behavior analyses on any incident.

Last updated on 11/1/2010 5:26:14 PM.

Super Analyst

  • Has maximum analysis authority. Super Analysts have implicit ownership of all analyses in WFDSS.
  • Provides coaching and training to other analysts. 
  • Runs, edits, and accepts all types of analyses. 
  • Views all analyses within WFDSS.
  • Can set the application so that Basic and Short Term Fire Behavior analyses can be run with zero conditioning days off. Analysis results do not display solar radiation or fuel moistures. 

Last updated on 1/20/2014 6:22:07 PM.

Data Manager

  • Enters and maintains strategic objectives.
  • Enters and maintains management requirements.
  • Creates, activates, and deactivates FMU codes.
  • Maintains fire management unit associations for individual agency units.
  • Manages unit shapes.

Last updated on 12/10/2010 12:08:19 AM.

Help Desk

The Help Desk performs the following tasks:

  • Assist other WFDSS users with technical questions associated with the system. 
  • View user profiles.
  • Reset passwords.
  • Can view user security questions and answers in order to validate the identity of the caller.
  • View "work in progress" from within the application, even if it's not published. 

Last updated on 9/30/2011 10:05:32 AM.


Comprised of the WFDSS core team and IBM developers. 

  • Authorizes new users.
  • Grants privileges to all users.
  • Disables users.
  • Assigns and modifies user roles.
  • Resets passwords.
  • Edits user profiles.
  • Sends WFDSS emails and broadcasts WFDSS messages. 

Last updated on 3/1/2011 5:32:12 PM.