PNWCG Steering Committee February 20, 2002 Meeting Minutes Attendees: 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 Presenters/Guests: 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 date. 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 dates 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 Draft. 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 March. 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 DC. 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: http://www.nwfireplan.gov 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.