November 2017
Published by the Oregon Office of State Fire Marshal
Oregon's response system proves its mettle
W ildfire season started quietly for Oregon fire agencies but ended with a bang. In the course of 31 days, the Oregon fire service responded to five mobilizations that tested local and state mutual aid plans. At one point, Oregon had two of the nation’s #1 priority fires (Chetco Bar and Eagle Creek). Other fires and weather events challenged many communities in ways we have rarely experienced. Thankfully, due to strong relationships, partnerships, and off-season planning, fire agencies throughout the state were prepared, and responded when needed.

All incidents start and end locally, and although an incident may need state and interstate response, it is important that all counties have healthy mutual aid systems that help support their local needs, and in turn, can be used for the Oregon response system. This is the foundation for healthier systems at the state level that benefit us all. Helping to strengthen and solidify this system is a continued focus of the OSFM in 2018 as it was in 2017.

This past year, the Office of State Fire Marshal focused on three areas of the state and assisted in dialogue and planning to help strengthen mutual aid systems. Although each of these areas have existing relationships, we wanted to begin a dialogue on how they can improve to help support Oregon during conflagrations.

In April, we met with fire chiefs from Malhuer, Union, and Baker counties to discuss how combining Fire Defense Board Districts would establish a system to join forces that would create a bigger pool of resources and create a system for call outs. In July, we met with fire chiefs from Coos, Curry, and western Lane counties and began a dialogue that would create a pathway to response. In September, staff worked in Lake County to discuss mutual aid plans and how to build response plans within the county.

The core of Oregon’s response system is local mutual aid plans. In order for the entire system to work, local fire agencies must have healthy mutual aid systems that have documented and clear expectations of one another. In order for Oregon to be successful in mobilizing resources in and out of state, locals need to have systems in place that support those efforts.

I would like to thank the counties who have worked during the off season to build stronger response systems that benefit not only their local communities but the state, and in some cases, even outside of the state as was proven with our response assisting with the California wildfires.

Thanks for all you do!
Oregon State Fire Marshal Jim Walker
An OSFM honorary mention goes to the work of fire agencies in Union County who were dedicated to working on their response plans and incorporating their plans into the state response system, enabling them to deploy resources to help with the California wildfires.
Oregon mobilizes 75 engines to California
Oregon structural firefighters perform direct suppression operations in California.
Editor's note: OSFM Chief Deputy State Fire Marshal Mariana Ruiz-Temple and California State Fire and Rescue Chief Kim Zagaris have been part of a national effort with the International Association of Fire Chiefs and the Federal Emergency Management Agency to build inter-state mutual aid plans and relationships for out-of-state response. This, over the past 10 years, has helped establish relationships and codified processes, setting the foundation for success.

O n the evening of Tuesday, October 10 th Chief Deputy Mariana Ruiz-Temple received word that the California Office of Emergency Services (OES) was looking for resources to help combat a number of destructive fires ignited on October 8 and 9. The fires, (including the Tubbs, Atlas, and Nuns Fires), had already destroyed thousands of structures and cost a number of lives. An informational email was sent to Oregon’s Fire Defense Board Chiefs to give them notice of the impending request.

An official request for ten strike teams was received at approximately 2030 hours, and in just over 3.5 hours Oregon fire agencies had filled the request. In the early hours of October 11, Oregon mobilized 200 personnel in 50 engines and 10 Command vehicles – representing 50 fire agencies – to the Central and Southern LNU Complexes.

The arriving resources were immediately put to work in their respective areas, gaining situational awareness as they worked. During the first few operational periods, there was active firefighting and structure protection, and later the mission was mainly focused on surveying the damage, performing mop-up, and working to ensure homes were safe for reentry. The devastation in the wake of the fires is thankfully not something many Oregon firefighters had experienced before. Thousands of people were displaced and entire communities were left in ruins. 

Resources in California work 24-hour shifts, followed by 24 hours of rest. Not accustomed to so much discretionary time, Oregon personnel looked for ways to pass their free days. Entire strike teams volunteered to prepare and serve meals to displaced residents, unloaded hay trucks, keep horses and other domestic animals fed and watered, and generally spent their time supporting the community and local residents.
Lane County Strike Team #2 serves meals to displaced residents at the
 Sonoma County Fairgrounds.
This mobilization was not a conflagration, but rather a utilization of the Emergency Management Assistance Compact (EMAC), an agreement between states to share resources during times of need. Because this was an EMAC mobilization, all 50 agencies had to execute an Interagency Agreement with Oregon Emergency Management. Within 24 hours, all agreements were signed and executed. Next came the arduous task of completing a Req-A, essentially an estimate for services before they’ve been rendered. Administrative staff, fire chiefs, city employees, and others came together and completed the daunting paperwork before the end of the day on Friday, October 13 th .

That same Friday afternoon, another request came from California for 25 additional engines to mobilize to the Prado Mobilization Camp in Chino. The request came in at approximately 1800, and it had been filled by 2115 that evening. The Prado Mobilization Camp is a camp where resources wait to be assigned to fires. Oregon sent five strike teams composed of 88 personnel in 25 engines and 10 Command vehicles. These additional resources represented 14 agencies who had not mobilized as part of the first wave of resources. The Oregon strike teams mobilized as part of the second wave spent time at a number of fires throughout California: the Canyon Fire 2 near Anaheim, the Bear Fire near Santa Cruz, and the Wilson Fire near San Diego.   
Hillsboro Fire's Scott Stutzman spends time with comfort dog Kimber.
Oregon resources slowly began the demobilization process on October 17, with all personnel back to their stations by October 24.

2017 was historic in many ways for the Oregon fire service. We saw the longest deployment, most expensive mobilization, most evacuations, most threatened structures, and most deployed resources. We asked for assistance from California and Washington, and received it. The wildfires in California were our opportunity to reciprocate, and we reciprocated in a substantial way. The Oregon system works, and it gets better every year. To all of the participating agencies and personnel, we say thank you. 
On their rest day, Lane County Strike Team members assisted citizens with their evacuated horses by unloading hay and feeding their animals.
OSFM's 100 years of service :
Highlights from 2010 to 2017
T his is the eleventh of 12 monthly articles highlighting interesting facts and significant events from each decade of OSFM's 100 years of service and an OSFM deputy state fire marshal region.

  • Oregon FireBridge incident reporting system delivered.

  • Crude Oil Transport legislation adopted (HB 3225).

  • Mosier Crude Oil Train Derailment. Sixteen cars on the 96-car train derailed near the Columbia River Gorge town of 430. Four cars caught on fire and the same amount of cars leaked 42,000 gallons of Bakken crude from North Dakota. The derailment caused the two-day evacuation of a nearby 76-unit mobile home neighborhood of nearly 300 people, but no one was hurt. A preliminary investigation showed that a failure with a bolt that fastens the rail to the railroad ties caused the derailment.
  • The OSFM moved its headquarters to south Salem and consolidates with Oregon State Police, their parent agency.

  • Oregon experienced an historic fire season. The OSFM set new records for the number of deployed structural task forces and strike teams to four emergency mobilizations in Oregon. But just as Oregon's wildfire season was winding down, California requested help from Oregon in battling some of the most destructive wildfires in their history. In response, Oregon set another record by responding with 15 strike teams that deployed to assist California.
Spotlight on:
OSFM deputy district 13
Counties: Baker, Malheur, Union, and Wallowa.
  • Deputy State Fire Marshal: Casey Kump
  • Population: 78,963
  • Fire Agencies: 31
  • Approximately 87% volunteer firefighters
  • CR2K facilities: 551
  • Extremely hazardous substance facilities: 47
  • Conflagration responses in the last 15 years: 10
  • Conflagrations hosted in the last 15 years: 5
  • Annual calls (5 year avg): 4,219
  • Annual reported fires (5 year avg): 423
  • Annual Hazmat calls (5 year avg): 41
  • Annual dollar loss (5 year avg): $8,367,469
Did you know :
  • In the mid- to late-1800s, Baker City’s population rivaled that of Boise and Spokane. Their first volunteer fire company was organized in 1875. The town fell siege to a number of fires shortly after. In 1884, the first courthouse was lost to fire and several prisoners lost their lives. That same year, a young man who had been arrested for disturbing the peace only hours before, lost his life when the city jail burned. On July 4, 1886, an entire block of downtown was lost to fire. In 1888, blocks of Main Street were destroyed when a row of wooden houses caught fire and the heat caused nearby brick buildings to crumble, including the Basche Hardware Store and First National Bank. In 1889, an infamous boarding house was lost despite the best efforts of a 50-strong bucket brigade. After another fire consumed the Giroux Amalgamator Works, the fire company was reorganized and invested in hose carts and the volunteers participated in annual interstate hose cart races with La Grande, Walla Walla, Pendleton, Waitsburg, and Dayton. The era of downtown conflagrations ended in 1898 with the loss of Baker City Iron Works, the McCord Hardware buildings, and the Rust Opera House and Brewery.
Spotlight: Hazmat Team 14 Ontario
H azmat Team 14 first became functional in the summer of 1993 and is based out of Ontario Fire & Rescue. 

The most significant incidents over the history of the team vary from: a tetramethlammonium hydroxide response, to 3,000 gallons of diesel in the canal next to the Owyhee River, and a 76 vehicle pileup on I-84 in the winter of 2013 with several tractor trailers spread out, which needed to be checked for hazardous releases, a 20-hour call at a hotel in Burns, Oregon that contained a meth lab and finally, threatening letters that had the team respond to John Day (Grant county) then pick up and respond to Burns (Harney county).

HM14 is made up of twelve team members: seven career firefighters and five part-time firefighters. Team members include Tom Davis, Jared Gammage, Gary Gibbs, Frank Grimaldo Jr, Kevin Hill, Lonnie Justus, Brule Lehman, Mike McLean, Allen Montgomery, Jonathan Rico, Mark Saito, and Casey Wilber.

HM14 covers all of Malheur County, most of Harney County, Baker County, and half of Grant County. Most of the area is flat sagebrush, plains type ground. Baker and Grant counties do have some mountainous regions and these areas do have some rigorous terrain and canyons along highway I-84. At times, severe weather such as ice, snow, and foggy conditions can impede the team’s ability to respond.  Great partnerships with ODOT and OSP allow HM14 to respond safely.

As a team, HM14 trains monthly on technician task book training. A minimum of two hours a month is spent training to cover the competencies for the technician task book. HM14 always looks for ways to drill with Civil Support Team and/or other hazmat partners as a team.

The greatest potential for a hazmat incident varies from industries within close proximity to residential neighborhoods, facilities that store and transfer thousands of gallons of natural gas liquids, crude oil sweet, and natural gas condensates or stabilized condensates at any given time, and railcars along the railway that also store similar products and are constantly being filled and moved out for transport. Within HM14's response area there are hundreds of miles of railway and highways that present some very real potential, with I-84 running right along the city limits of Ontario.

To date, HM14’s most challenging incident was a semi roll-over in 2013. The semi was pulling a trailer filled with 16-250 gallon totes, and all were compromised. The totes contained tetramethlammonium hydroxide. All initial indications showed this was an extremely hazardous and toxic substance. There were reports of the driver being transferred to the hospital and four passerby good Samaritans that were being decontaminated, treated, and transported as well. 

With limited access to the scene, HM14’s tractor trailer was parked a half a mile from the scene and the suburban was used to take entry and survey crews to the scene. Working with ODOT, OSP, and Baker County Emergency Services, HM14 was able to research, contact, and receive shipping papers. The shipper was able to confirm this was a 2.38% solution and very low hazard. The only problem was that three hours went by before this information was received. The first three hours HM14 believed they were dealing with an extremely hazardous and potentially deadly substance. This proved to be an extensive cleanup operation involving many entities over a several month period. A very challenging event from start to finish.

HM14 serves the following fire agencies: 
If your department is interested in receiving outreach training from HM14, please contact Jared Gammage at 541-881-3233 or by email
OSFM awards HMEP
grant funds for 2017 - 2018
T he U.S. Department of Transportation provides grant funding to Oregon’s Local Emergency Planning Committees (LEPC) through the Hazardous Materials Emergency Preparedness (HMEP) Grants Program.
The purpose of the grant is to improve local effectiveness in preventing chemical accidents, promote safe and efficient response to hazardous materials incidents, and enhance implementation of the Emergency Planning and Community Right to Know Act (EPCRA).
The HMEP Grant Program distributes fees collected from shippers and carriers of hazardous materials to LEPCs and emergency responders for hazardous materials related training and planning projects.

HMEP Grant Recipients 2017-2018
Albany Fire Department (Mid-Valley LEPC)
Philomath Full Scale Exercise
Banks Fire District
Essential HazMat Training
Clackamas County Disaster Management
EPCRA Compliant LEPC Emergency Plan Development
Coos Bay Fire Department (Coos County LEPC)
EPCRA Compliant LEPC Emergency Plan Development
Hazardous Materials Emergency Response Teams
2018 Statewide HazMat Teams Conference
Jackson County FD #3 (Rogue Valley LEPC)
EPCRA Compliant LEPC Emergency Plan Development
Marion County Emergency Management
HazMat Risk Reduction Project
Mt. Hood Community College (Multnomah County LEPC)
EPCRA Compliant LEPC Emergency Plan Development (Year 2)
LEPC Member Grant Writing Scholarships
Portland Fire & Rescue
Gas Detection Training
Tillamook Fire District (Tillamook County LEPC)
HazMat Training
Tualatin Valley Fire & Rescue
HazMat IQ Tox-Medic Course
Umatilla County Emergency Management (Umatilla County LEPC)
Evacuation Planning / Exercises / HazMat Training
Code Corner
by Deputy State Fire Marshal David Mills
Temporary Shelters
S helter is fundamental to human needs. We recognize there are many reasons an individual or family finds themselves in need of a shelter. With colder temperatures coming our way, communities may be looking to establish temporary sleeping shelters.

Technical Advisory (TA) 11-14 entitled Temporary Shelters , offers assistance to the fire code official in providing a path to allow an existing building that may not have been designed as a Group R occupancy (used for sleeping purposes) to be used as a temporary shelter.

The TA provides guidance to work in conjunction with local building, planning/zoning, and fire officials to assist communities in approving existing buildings or structures not necessarily designed for sleeping purposes to, on a limited basis, temporarily accommodate sleeping conditions safely.

The TA provides life safety guidelines in establishing maximum occupant loads, smoke and carbon monoxide alarms, the benefits of fire sprinklered buildings, emergency evacuation plans, safe emergency exiting, and maintaining a fire watch program. Some local jurisdictions may have more stringent requirements, while others may not approve temporary shelters at all.

For questions, contact the OSFM Codes & Technical Services Desk at 503-934-8204 or email
OSFM new employee
Sara Jasmin
Youth Fire Prevention and Intervention Program Coordinator
Fire and Life Safety Education
Sara’s path to her OSFM role began with the completion of a Bachelor’s of Science of Education Degree from Western Oregon University. The focus of this degree was Community Health Education with a minor in Social Sciences which led her back to her home town of Prineville, OR. 

There, she was given the opportunity to coordinate the Girls Circle Program at Crook County Juvenile Department. As with most roles in small counties, this quickly included a number of other “duties as assigned” and eventually evolved into a juvenile counselor position. 

Being provided such a well-rounded jumpstart to her career gave her the skill set to then move on to the role of Skills Group Program Coordinator with Clackamas County Juvenile Department in 2010. During this time, she also worked with Fire Safe US to facilitate fire safety intervention skills to groups of youths with fire-related offenses. As goes the pattern, she again took on a juvenile counselor role, primarily supervising youth in the Gladstone and Oregon City areas as well as a specialized caseload of identified victims of sex trafficking.

Having the firsthand experience of working with youth with fire-related behavior, as well as her role as a mother of a two-year-old son and four-year-old daughter, provides perspective in the value and necessity of education, prevention, and interventions for young people and their families throughout the state. 
Update on OSFM's Youth Fire Prevention and Intervention Program
OSFM Program Coordinator Sara Jamsin
W hile the faces of the Youth Fire Prevention and Intervention Program (YFPI) have changed, the commitment and mission of the program continues. The path that has previously been laid over the program’s 26 year run has opened the doors to opportunities to continue to enhance youth fire safety. Our partners have quickly demonstrated their continued commitment to this program through their involvement in the Youth Fire Prevention and Intervention Advisory Council. A group reconvened in early June with a mixture of seasoned and new members coming together to discuss the needs of our state in regards to prevention strategies and intervention resources. Members include professionals from several Oregon fire agencies, Juvenile Justice, The American Red Cross, OSP Arson, Oregon Youth Authority, Department of Human Services, Oregon Burn Center, and the mental health field. The Advisory Council will meet quarterly to review current processes, create partnerships for collaboration, and identify efficient practices that will help create a more effective YFPI Program. 

An Intervention Subcommittee has also convened as a component of the Advisory Board. This energetic group is focused on the creation of materials that will assist with addressing the behaviors of youth with a history of misusing fire. One such item is the new Insight workbook. This tool combines fire safety education with skill building and accountability. Insight is currently being tested in several settings and is anticipated to be in its completed form by the end of the calendar year. It will accompany training opportunities to provide guidance in effective delivery. The program’s new Training and Development Specialist, Andrei Rector, will provide a breakout session at February’s Prevention Workshop where participants can get a closer look at this exciting new tool.  

The YFPI team is also reviewing and updating more familiar program resources, such as the Parent’s Legal Responsibility Guide, which should be available to fire service and their community partners by mid-December . A Guide to Mandatory Reporting for Fire Service will also soon be available on the OSFM webpage, providing direction on an often difficult, mandated responsibility. 

The Fire and Life Safety Education Branch at OSFM sees this as an exciting time of new growth. A great deal of energy is pushing this program forward and we believe this can only be accomplished through a state-wide effort. The feedback and collaboration of all fire service partners is important in this process. We value your feedback and would love to hear from you. Please contact us at or 503-934-2136.   
Data Connection
News from the Analytics & Intelligence Unit
by OSFM Program Coordinator Dave Gulledge
As fall arrives in Oregon, people will start using fireplaces and woodstoves in their homes, and local fire agencies will find themselves responding to chimney fires. Over the last five years, 9% of home chimney fires have extended beyond the chimney and spread to the structure causing an average of more than $37,000 of damage per fire. The photo (at right) shows what can happen if proper chimney care is not taken prior to using a fireplace or woodstove.  
How Do You Code That?
Once a heating fire that is started in a fireplace or woodstove begins to ignite any buildup in the chimney, or extends beyond the fireplace within the home, it becomes a reportable fire. If the fire is confined to the flue or chimney, the Incident Type would be coded as ‘114-Chimney or flue fire’. If the fire extends beyond the flue, chimney, or fireplace/woodstove and the structure or its contents catch fire, the Incident Type would be coded ‘111-Building fire’.  
These types of fires are common in residential property uses, most commonly Property Use is coded ‘419 - 1-or 2-family dwelling’, but they are not restricted to that Property Use type. The Area of Fire Origin is classified as the first area where ignition occurred. For example, in a home with multiple fireplaces and a single chimney - if the chimney caught fire from a fire that was started in the fireplace located in the living room, the Area of Fire Origin would be coded ‘14-Living Room’.   
The Factors Contributing to Ignition is most often coded as 55-Failure to clean. The Heat Source would be coded as ‘11-Spark, ember, or flame from operating equipment’; or ‘12-Radiated or conducted heat from operating equipment’ (the fireplace or woodstove is the operating equipment).

The creosote that forms in a chimney and catches fire would be captured with Item First Ignited code ‘95-Film or residue’, and the Material First Ignited code ‘34-Pitch, soot’. The Equipment Involved in Ignition for chimney/flue fires is based on the specific type (masonry or metal) and should be coded in the heating, ventilation, and air conditioning category 12_.  
Over the last 5 years, there have been 2,513 reported chimney fires in Oregon causing more than $9 million in estimated damage. During this period, 91% of chimney fires were confined to the chimney or flue. These fires rarely resulted in serious injury and accounted for just 3% of estimated losses in chimney related fires. Also during this period, the top three leading factors contributing to these fires were failure to clean, combustibles too close to a heat source, and installation deficiency, respectively. The good news is that the number of home chimney related fires has steadily dropped from 605 in 2012 to 434 in 2016, which reflects a 28% decrease! 
This information shows that chimney fires can cause a lot of damage, but they are also easily preventable. Taking the following steps can reduce the risk of experiencing a chimney related fire:
  • Have chimneys cleaned and inspected by a qualified professional at least once a year.
  • Burn only dry, seasoned wood. It creates less buildup in the chimney.
  • Start the fire with newspaper, kindling, or fire starters. Never use a flammable liquid such as lighter fluid, kerosene, or gasoline to start a fire.
  • Have a sturdy metal screen or tempered glass on a fireplace to prevent sparks from escaping.
  • Dispose of coals and ash only after they are cool, which could be as long as 3-5 days.
  • Never place used coals or ash in a paper bag or plastic container.
  • Never place a container with ashes on a wooden deck or other combustible surface. 
More information about home heating safety is available on the Office of State Fire Marshal website .
For questions or more information, please contact the Analytics & Intelligence Unit at 503-934-8250 or by email at .
2018 Oregon Fire Code Adoption
The OSFM is begining the process of the 2018 Oregon Fire Code adoption .

Items under discussion will include:
  • Mobile Food Vehicles – cooking hazards

  • Integrated Fire Protection and/or Life Safety systems where two or more of these are interconnected (e.g., sprinkler, alarm systems, smoke control)

  • Education Occupancies - to include: Intruder prevention locking arrangements in grade school and higher education; Higher education laboratories and hazardous materials; CO detection requirements in classrooms

  • Large Outdoor Assembly Event – egress and fire hazard

  • Indoor Trade Shows and Exhibitions – covered and multi-level booths

  • Energy Systems – including standby and emergency power, fuel cell energy

  • Plant Processing and Extraction Facilities – extraction of oils and fats from various plants (e.g., marijuana, mint . . .)

  • High Pile Storage – clarification of commodity (storage) classifications

  • Carbon Dioxide (CO2) Systems - used for both enrichment processes and beverage dispensing, to include gas detection systems

  • On-Demand Mobile Fueling – customer requested on site dispensing/fueling of flammable/combustible liquids into vehicles

The code adoption process began with the first Oregon Fire Code Committee (OFCC) meeting to discuss this subject on Tuesday September 26, 2017. 

Following is a list of future dates:
28 November 2017, 19 December 2017, 09 January 2018,
23 January 2018, 13 February 2018, 27 February 2018, 13 March 2018,
27 March 2018, 10 April 2018, and 24 April 2018.
Location:  Office of State Fire Marshal at Oregon State Police Headquarters
                3565 Trelstad Avenue SE, Salem, Oregon 97317  
Note: November and December meetings will be held at DPSST.

If you have questions call 503-934-8204 or email .