A look behind the scenes at the command center for the Black Forest Fire

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. - The parking lot at Pine Creek High School in Colorado Springs has been converted into a mini city of sorts.   It’s serving at as the Incident Command Post for the Black Forest Fire.

It’s a 24-hour-a-day operation, drawing firefighters from as far away as South Dakota, Wyoming and Minnesota.   Firefighter Eric Johnson of Minnesota arrived Friday evening.   He is expected help extinguish hot spots in the morning.  “It's kind of the dirty work, but it has to get done,” said Johnson.

It's in the confines of the school where crews eat, drink and sleep in tents, after working grueling shifts.

From supplies to army convoys - this is a self-sufficient operation.

Emergency vehicles are assigned a number and entered into a computer data base, tracking their availability and capability.

"It would be nearly impossible to operate a facility and operation of this scope, the magnitude without such high organization," said Brandon Hampton of the Great Basin Incident Management Team.

As the crews await their wake up call, children hold up “Thank You” signs, yet firefighter say this is simply their job.

"I just like it.  I don't know what else I would do.  So I just like being outside and working,” said Johnson.

Officials say the command center can be disbanded approximately 24 hours after the fire is out.

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