Pam Ensley, USFWS Leo Sidebotham, BLM Bill Lafferty, ODF

PNWCG Steering Committee
February 20, 2002
Meeting Minutes
Pam Ensley, USFWS
Leo Sidebotham, BLM
Bill Lafferty, ODF
Bob Anderson, Spokane County Fire District #9
Bruce Monell, DNR
Barbara Kennedy, SORO
Dan Johnson, Office of WA State Fire Marshall
John Viada, DNR
Laurie Perrett, USFS
Mike Fitzpatrick
Paul Werth
Gerry Day
Blanche France
Tom Schmidt
Mike Dykzeul
NWCC Contingency Plans for computer Internet Operations – Blanche France/Gerry Day
Blanche announced that an all-agency meeting will be held on February 26, 2002, to involve IT
folks from the various agencies. Blanche asked for both support from the PNWCG for this
meeting and guidance on what the Steering Committee (SC) would like for contingency planning.
The first order of business for the group is to establish a work-around for the two groups, F&W
and BIA, that are still not up and running. The second order of business is the development of fallback strategies in case the BLM & Parks Service was to go down again. The purpose of the
meeting would be to come up with some possible scenarios, then create an “If/then” flow chart that
will outline the solutions for these scenarios. Blanches’ role is to act as facilitator/choreographer
and make sure things are getting done, but stressed that without the support of all agencies, both in
IT and Fire Management, this can not be done. The SC was in full support of this meeting and the
plans of their group.
Predictive Services Products for MAC Support – Mike Fitzpatrick/Paul Werth
Mike Fitzpatrick and Paul Werth gave a Power Point presentation. (see attached handout). They
gave a description of the tools they are using and asked for input from the SC group for
suggestions and ideas while there is still time to make updates/changes. Some suggestions:
PNWCG Steering Committee
February 20, 2002
Page 2
Bob Anderson asked if a “latest update” date to be visual as soon as you open the
document rather than scrolling down through the document searching for the last entry
Laurie Perrett asked if an area is targeted as critical ERC could a brief
description/clarification be printed of what critical ERC means for that particular area.
Bruce Monell asked if Washington could be broken down into two zones rather than one
combined zone.
Paul & Mike asked the SC to look at the products and provide feedback to them. Paul mentioned
that they will be doing some full spectrum workshops this spring for all agencies and suggested
sending the people who are the real practitioners for the agencies. The SC will be notified of these
30 Mile OSHA Citations/Accident Prevention Plan – Laurie Perrett
Laurie updated the SC with the sequence of events that have been developing following 30 Mile.
Jim Furnish, has completed an Accident Investigation. If you are interested in copies of the video
of Jim Furnish’s press conference, please see Laurie. Following the Accident Investigation the
next part of the process is a Management Evaluation Report which identifies the recommendations,
(Laurie has been sharing this information with the group over the past few months). These
recommendations resulted in a 50+ page document called the Accident Prevention Plan/Working
The National Office is trying to work with NWCG, to come up with reasonable responses to the 31
Action Items that resulted from the Management Evaluation Report. The third piece is an
Administrative Review, where a three-person team is re-interviewing people who were involved in
the incident. The team will come up with whether or not any disciplinary actions or other kinds of
actions will be taken. The Administrative Review is expecting completion by the first part of
The 5 OSHA Violations
The real noteworthy thing that came out of the 5 OSHA violations is that there were two willful
citations. Laurie provided a brief description of a willful violation – it’s a level of violation that
could have liability implications to the people involved, if in fact, they were found to be negligent.
The reason that OSHA said they were willful was because of South Canyon, and are considered to
be repeats.
A group, led by Joe Stutler, has come up with some recommendations (in draft form) for the BLM
FS in the PNW. Laurie will be sending these out to the SC to look over what Joe has drafted and
get comments back to him by March 15. Joe’s attendance at the March 20, PNWCG meeting, has
been requested with the objective of drafting what part of the PNW response can be bought off on
by the SC. In an attempt to support Joe’s efforts and the FS, PNWCG will identify what they can
do to help with this process.
Operations WT assignments – Laurie Perrett
Concerns have been expressed regarding the Op group and how to make the WT more effective
and some sort of even distribution of assignments rather than routinely going to the same
PNWCG Steering Committee
February 20, 2002
Page 3
individuals. Bruce Monell also expressed that in his observation, this applies to other WT’s as
well, and suggested discussing this further in the Strategy Meeting.
Aviation WT Task Order Status – Bill Lafferty
Bill represented the WT group and questioned the writing of the task book for 310-1. The WT is
not opposed to the progress being made and feel it is really close, the WT feels they should have
seen the details to understand and be in a position to say yes that is where we want to go. Bill will
follow up on trying to do the task at the March 20, PNWCG meeting.
A discussion occurred concerning the aviation operation procedures that will be used on lands
protected by fire districts in WA State.
John Viada clarified that the Washington State Mobilization Plan states: The aviation procedures
used on lands protected by fire districts in Washington State will be the same as aviation
procedures used by the DNR on the lands they protect.
One Task came out of the discussion.
Task 1:
 Update the Aviation WT matrix. (PNWCG’s Aviation Policy Standard Matrix).
Prevention Teams on Incidents – Bruce Monell
Bruce announced to the SC that every time there is a Project Fire, on DNR protected lands, a local
Prevention Specialist will be sent out to the fire. Not to provide IIO assistance, but to focus on
community prevention, with the goal of using these Project Fires as teachable moments. This
concept in WA will be starting on state protected lands and would like support from the WA side
given the interagency teams. These “local” specialists would get buy-off from the local-unit or
agency with dual tasking delegation from local agency administrator (whomever that may be)
simultaneously with buy-off from the Incident Manager.
Laurie Perrett said she supports this concept but would like to run it by BLM FS Management
prior to giving the go-ahead.
Bill Lafferty would like to watch this pilot concept and see how it develops.
*To be followed up later prior to the May 1 & 2, Team Training.
Leadership Training – John Viada
John provided a one-page outline of some New Leadership Classes. Some of these beginning
courses are going to be incorporated in the Fire Fighter 2 training conducted to the joint guard
schools that take place each year, one on the Eastside and one on the Westside.
National Crew Contract Update – Laurie Perrett
Each geographic area was asked to provide a number of how many of each resources, crews, and
engines they would like to sponsor. They came up with 8 or 9 forests around Region 6 to sponsor
PNWCG Steering Committee
February 20, 2002
Page 4
2 or 3 crews, 4 or 5 engines a piece = 20 crews and 50 engines. These will be treated like they are
our own resources.
Laurie announced and encouraged attendance for the April 9, Opportunities for Contracting in Fire
and Fuels Management Question and Answer Workshop.
The one-day session, will held at: Duncan Plaza, Region 6, BLM Office, at 8:00 a.m.
Terry Brown and Jerry Williams are leading this. John Veneglia, who is doing the National
Contracts, will also be attending and be able to discuss what is going on in that area.
ODF Workload on Contracting Task - Bill Lafferty
Bill addressed the other contract task and what his expectations are for the future on the volume of
work. They are starting their 03-05 Biennial Budget planning right now and starting a program
option package to go before Legislature. The challenge is to have long-term positions funded.
Training WT Update - Leo Sidebotham
The Training WT felt the current MOU should be redone for a couple of reasons:
1) There is not enough teeth in it
2) What years ago were 2 associations are now 8.
The Training WT requested a Task Order from the SC to update the MOU and then provide the SC
with an option paper on how to possibly monitor the training.
The consensus of the SC was to have both the Training WT and the Contract Committee come to
the March 20, PNWCG meeting, to address questions from the SC. Leo will take the lead and
send out the agreement, the current MOU and possibly the draft MOU.
Payment of Fire Service Resources on Federal Incidents - Bob Anderson
Bob raised concerns regarding a memo from Bruce Holloway where specific resources were
needed and ordered through Expanded Dispatch that DNR paid for and needed to seek
reimbursement after fire season the concerns of this situation:
 Draining DNR’s fire suppression budget
 How often does this go on?
 Is it even an issue?
John Viada replied that it is a concern to a degree but suggested setting this one aside.
Barbara Kennedy mentioned there might be a solution to this soon. The Master Agreement, while
not amended yet, has a proposal being worked on called the Third Party Payment Clause that
would allow the Feds to pay local resources.
Redmond Air Center – Barbara Kennedy
Dan Torrence comes annually to update the SC on their annual plans for the upcoming year and
the accomplishments from the past year. Barbara handed out the Accomplishment Report from
Dan. Once the SC reviews the information provided, if there are any issues or concerns let Barbara
know to determine if there is a need for Dan to come to a meeting and give a presentation.
PNWCG Steering Committee
February 20, 2002
Page 5
National Weather Service Agreement – Bob Anderson
Bob sent a letter to Don Artley (per a request from Mike Ziolko) to ask for enough time to review
and comment on the final draft. Mike had expressed some concerns regarding the draft. Don was
not able to accommodate this request based on an agency decision out of Washington DC. The
Five federal agencies made the decision to handle the input process out of Boise with agency
representation versus geographic process.
In an attempt to try to blend the two processes, the NWCG encouraged the group to send out and
solicit input from the geographic areas. Significant portions of the input were not included in the
final draft. The final draft has been forwarded, with recommendations to sign it, to Washington
Don Artley told Bob that his understanding of the final draft was basically it encouraged
geographic operating plans and encouraged the specifics of those to be negotiated more in depth
with the geographic areas. To the extent that the existing agreement does not conflict with the
National Agreement, things should be good. Don also mentioned that he believes this will be up in
1 to 11/2 years for review.
Gerry Day’s Evaluation – Leo Sidebotham
Leo asked for input/feedback from the SC on Gerry Day’s contribution to the group. Leo is in the
process of preparing Gerry’s performance evaluation for this past year. Please call Leo or email
him. Gerry hasn’t been recognized in a lot of years and he’s involved in a lot of different areas
and would like your input on recognizing him.
NWCG Meeting – Bob Anderson
May 22 & 23 in Whitefish, Montana. If you are not able to attend and have some thoughts please
get them to either John Viada or Bob Anderson so they can bring them to the table.
Medford – Laurie Perrett
Medford Air Tanker Base will be kept open for another year as a reload base, using the money
they were going to close the base with this year, keep it open, to put together a Fire Protection
local Strategy in SW Oregon. After looking at the whole system/package they will then decide if it
makes good sense to keep Medford open as an Air Tanker Base.
NFP Updates – Tom Schmidt
Tom discussed the issue of the Programmatic Environmental Assessment, and the need for a
meeting with PNWCG level folks, the five federal agencies, two regulatory agencies, and Tom
suggested head Exec’s for the 2 States, (given the real consequences to the states). This meeting
will be held March 5, @ 2:00 p.m. The objective of the meeting is to have an understanding on
what is being proposed and to have a common approach with a reasonable solution that can be
adopted together.
NW Accomplishment report for the NFP – Tom Schmidt
BLM’s taken the lead on putting the information together a 10 page report containing success
stories, pictures etc., Hopefully it will be out by mid March or April. BLM’s website address for
information on the National Fire Plan:
PNWCG Steering Committee
February 20, 2002
Page 6
Fire Use and Fuels Mgmt WT – Tom Schmidt
Using the WT as the core of our prioritization team in the NFP to try to determine a prioritization
process that would work both at the regional & local level. Tom is transferring leadership to Eric
Christianson for this issue.
Contract Review (Nationally) – Tom Schmidt
Went to three places in Oregon. Portland – talked about what was going on in Oregon and
Washington. Then Central Oregon, and SW Oregon the draft report should be available either end
of this week or next. Tom will send it out.
Draft Accountability Plan – Tom Schmidt
(Titled: Proposed Wildland Fire Management Performance Measures) The purpose of this is to
capture what you want to see changed and how are you going to measure whether it happened or
not. This is one way to tell if the NFP is making a difference. The performance measures will
show which communities have moved from hazard. It is available if you are interested in a copy
contact Tom.
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