Meetings between the NWS offices and the natural resource agencies
The U.S.F.S. Cherokee National Forest fire section facilitates the Tennessee Fire Co-operators meeting held at least twice per year (in late spring and late fall) with all natural resource agencies and NWS offices serving Tennessee invited to attend. These meetings typically will be held in east Tennessee, to minimize travel distance. Although the agenda includes many internal division matters they are of interagency consequence. Therefore, the NWS is a Strategic Partner and is invited to these meetings since topics often include NWS operations.
Maintenance and Revision of the Annual Operating Plan
The AOP should be revised each year by the end of January, with cooperation and participation from each NWS office and each natural resource agency. The state liaison office (Morristown - MRX) will be custodian of the plan.
Notification of NWS Changes in Operating Procedures
From time to time, NWS headquarters, or NWS Southern Region Headquarters, will send draft versions of future directives to their forecast offices for review and comment. To ensure that the natural resource partner agencies have an opportunity to review and comment on proposed changes, the NWS office in Morristown will forward a copy of draft directives to the land management agencies in Tennessee when they are received. Comments and suggestions can be forwarded to the NWS office in Morristown, which will forward them to NWS Southern Region Headquarters.
Agreements on Services Provided
Agreements on services and standards are normally reached at statewide meetings, but may be achieved by a series of local meetings or by other means such as telephone or e-mail. NWS offices and land managers should be aware of the ripple effect an agreement might have on other NWS offices and their customers, particularly when service areas cross state lines.
Fire Weather/Fire Prevention Awareness Week
Annually during the National Fire Prevention Week (the first Sunday in October through the following Saturday), the NWS and cooperating fire agencies will provide fire safety and prevention information to the public, as well as information concerning how weather affects fire behavior. The NWS will send daily "Public Information Statements" over their communications systems during this week. The Tennessee Division of Forestry, U.S. Forest Service, and National Park Service will provide guidance and additional information that is appropriate for the season for these statements. The intent is to raise public awareness of how weather affects fire behavior, the need for using safe burning techniques, and how to prevent wildfires from occurring in Tennessee.
Natural resource agencies and the NWS collaborate on familiarization of personnel in each others fields of expertise, operations, and equipment. Visits to offices and work centers, as well as field job sites, can meet part of these requirements.
Services provided by the NWS, and delivery of observations and information from the natural resource agencies to the NWS in support of these services, shall be under constant evaluation by both parties.