The meeting was held at the Office of the State... Communication, Prevention and Investigation (CPI) Working Team 10-24-12 mtg notes DATE/LOCATION

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Communication, Prevention and Investigation (CPI) Working Team 10-24-12 mtg notes
DATE/LOCATION
The meeting was held at the Office of the State Fire Marshal in Salem, Oregon.
IN ATTENDANCE
Lauren Maloney, chair – Bureau of Land Management/U.S. Forest Service, Portland, [email protected]
Claire McGrew, vice-chair - Office of the State Fire Marshal (OSFM), Salem, [email protected]
Rich Hoover - Office of the State Fire Marshal (OSFM), Salem, [email protected]
Tom Knappenberger, U.S. Forest Service, Portland, [email protected]
Steve Fraidenburg – Washington State Dept. of Natural Resources (WADNR), Olympia,
[email protected]
Trish Hogervorst – BLM, Salem, [email protected]
Len Diaz (phone), – Bureau of Indian Affairs, Portland, [email protected]
Tom Fields, Oregon Dept. of Forestry, Salem, [email protected]
Rod Nichols, Oregon Dept. of Forestry, Salem, [email protected]
TOPICS:
 Notetaker for meeting: Rod volunteered.
 Review and approval of June 27, 2012 meeting notes: Claire noted an error in a URL, and
members corrected it on their copies.
 Training issues-PIO training and fire investigator training: Lauren is scheduled to attend a
meeting of training officers in November. She directed the group to a summary of training issues
previously identified by the Team and asked for any additional issues to bring up with the
trainers. Tom K. brought up his concern over the lack of coordination in the region for the S203
“Introduction to Incident Information” course. With less money to put on the course, there have
been fewer offered. Lauren said she requested a line item in her 2013 budget for S203. Steve
said WADNR plans to offer the course in March, and that it would be open to other agencies.
Tom said the Team should be the clearinghouse for S203 to ensure the PNWCG member
agencies are aware of the course offerings each year. He offered to be the contact person for
S203 courses offered across the region.
Lauren said the Redmond Training Center keeps a Preferred Training List that is supposed to be
generated by training officers in the local units. The Center has responsibility to ensure PIOs on
the list are red-carded and willing to take fire assignments. Tom F. cited an example from this
summer that underscored the problem of filling positions on an incident. A fire near Toledo,
Oregon, requested a fire investigator, but initially no one within ODF was available. He was
prepared to contact the NW Interagency Coordination Center for a non-ODF investigator but
ultimately was able to fill the order internally. Len advised that ROSS is the first stop to fill a
resource order. A discussion ensued about the actual availability of personnel in ROSS for
dispatch. Supervisors can prohibit their employees from taking outside assignments. Steve
asked if succession planning is in place? Training officers should be attentive to this. Tom K. said
we need to make it easy for new agency employees to get into fire.
 Cohesive Strategy/Fire Adapted Communities: Claire provided a set of talking points and
walked the group through the key elements of the strategy, charter, tasks and objectives. Len
said the BIA has an approach that differs somewhat from the Community Wildfire Protection
Plan. Claire will add it to the handout. Lauren said the points aim to describe the Team’s
potential involvement in the Cohesive Strategy to the PNWCG Steering Committee.
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Tom F. said he will discuss with Travis Medema, ODF’s project leader for the Cohesive Strategy,
how he can use it in his fire prevention work. Discussion ensued about what is the Team’s role in
the strategy. It was decided that there should be a recommendation from the Team to the
Steering Committee for a Task Order describing the Team’s role.
Trish asked if we are looking for an on-the-ground project from the strategy for the Team to do?
Lauren said not a project, but rather the Team should take a more strategic role in
implementation. Is there a small piece of the Fire-Adapted Communities’ element the Team
could take on?
The group discussed how to make the Fire-Adapted Communities’ “sun” diagram useful to the
public. Creating links from the various subject areas of the diagram would be helpful. Discussion
then moved to the potential for public confusion over the various prevention initiatives that
have been developed over the years – Firewise, Fire-Adapted Communities, SB360, Ready, Set,
Go, et al. In Washington, Steve said, they are concerned that Fire-Adapted Communities could
confuse things, since they already have programs that are working. The Team formed a
subcommittee to work on the Fire-Adapted Communities’ issue. It will bring ideas back for
discussion at the next meeting.
Fire Restrictions.net Project: Tom K. said that during the period of extreme fire danger this
September, the region’s Forest Service executives sought to work closely with the BLM to issue a
joint news release on fire restrictions. Tom said this effort confirmed for him that the
restrictions vary widely among the Forest Service and BLM districts as well as the states. From
this experience a goal emerged to create an interactive map that would allow the public to
select a destination and then link to local fire restrictions. Lauren said Fire Restrictions.net does
that, but the site doesn’t have Washington and Oregon information yet. Len proposed
generating a Task Order for the Team; Lauren said she will draft one. She will ask Dale Guenther,
USFS, to make a presentation about Fire Restrictions.net at the next Team meeting.
Prevention Workshop: Claire gave an update on the February 2012 workshop, noting that
attendance was down. The organizers decide not to hold the workshop in 2013. Tom F. said ODF
will try to restructure the workshop and bring it back in a different form in 2014.
PNWCG CPI WT website: Lauren asked the Team to provide links by Nov. 21, 2012 that she can
add to the site. The links should be useful to CPI WT members and others in the areas of the
WT’s purview, i.e., prevention, investigation and communication.
Oregon Garden Fire Safety House: Rod described a prescribed burn that was conducted Sept.
24 in a 12-acre unit of The Oregon Garden resort in Silverton to create conditions characteristic
of the original oak savanna. The burn removed Himalayan blackberry, Scotch broom and other
non-native and invasive plant species that compete with camas and other native plants and
grasses.
Status of Oregon’s fireworks restrictions: Steve said Washington’s rules on fireworks have
become increasingly restrictive over the years. Claire said Oregon aims to tighten its rules, but
no significant changes have occurred yet.
Representative updates:
- Tom K. said the Forest Service and BLM started using VOST (Virtual Operations Support
Teams) to increase fire information’s capacity to engage in social media while on
incidents. VOST enables an agency to use social media through volunteers. Trish said
volunteers monitor social media activity and also disseminate content on social media
outlets.
- Exploding targets: Tom K. noted that the Forest Service doesn’t address them in its
rules. Steve said WADNR’s rules cover tracer and incendiary ammunition but not
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exploding targets. He said we need a Washington Attorney General’s opinion on the
targets. He said the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives may
address exploding targets in the future. Tom F. said Jeff Bonebrake, ODF’s lead
investigator, has looked into the matter and included language in the department’s
regulated-use closure restrictions which prohibits exploding targets. Lauren said the
BLM state office issues an annual fireworks ban for BLM lands in Washington and
Oregon that included Tannerite in this year’s language.
Tom F. passed out copies of two ODF publications: the Hot Sheet, a communication tool
on prevention for forest operators, and Prevention News, an internal newsletter.
Claire said OSFM is preparing a legislative concept for the 2013 session that would make
a small increase in the existing surcharge on home insurance policies. A lag in funding
has forced OSFM to lay off a number of employees.
Steve said the issue of propane campfire rings has emerged, with campers wanting to
use them whenever fire regulations allow use of an approved campfire ring. WADNR is
regulating the propane campfire rings the same as propane stoves and is not treating
them the same as conventional campfire rings.
Steve is also seeking grants to fund public education outreach at fairs, since department
funding for that activity is no longer available.
To alleviate confusion over the numerous burn bans instituted by various agencies in
2012, WADNR created a common burn-ban sign. Steve passed out a sample sign.
WADNR plans to hold an S203 course in March 2013, location TBD. The course will be
open to PNWCG member agencies.
Trish said her BLM district is currently doing lots of pile burning.
Lauren said Pam Ensley is the new 2013 chair of the PNWCG Steering Committee, and
Nancy Hirsch is the vice-chair. She noted that Feb. 20 and 21 are the dates of the
Steering Committee’s annual workshop at which the working teams are invited to give
presentations on their activities.
She noted that the Region 6 and Region 10 prevention teams had two dispatches in
2012.
The national Smokey Bear awards are coming up in early 2013. It is time to think about
potential nominations.
A National Fire Academy course is under development. It will be on creating fireadapted communities in the wildland urban interface.
She asked the Team to begin thinking about a new chair and vice-chair of the Working
Team for the coming year.
Len said the BIA has received funding for seven prevention positions. He noted that an
investigation into the St. Mary’s Mission Fire near Omak, Washington, is continuing.
NEXT MEETING
The group discussed Nov. 27 and Dec. 18 as two possible Team meeting dates. Lauren will send out a
Doodle poll to members.
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