September 2017
Published by the Oregon Office of State Fire Marshal
Eclipse and fires make for an active month
W hether you were able to see the total eclipse or a partial one, depending on where you were in the state, I heard most people had a remarkable experience.

Certainly, in some areas of the state, it was almost the eclipse that wasn’t because of the risk of wildfire smoke completely blotting out the sun.

The week prior to the eclipse was shaping up nicely as forecasts were calling for fairly clear skies throughout the path of totality. However, late breaking wildfires threatened eclipse visibility and tested our eclipse planning and emergency mobilization plan. But, everyone’s months of planning paid off.

On Friday, August 11, the OSFM Blue Incident Management Team and four task forces deployed to assist with the Nena Springs Fire on the Warm Springs Reservation. Great work by our structural resources, wildland firefighters and favorable weather allowed the fire to be 80% contained by late in the afternoon on August 15 th . This allowed for assisting incident commanders and task forces to turn the fire back over to local command and resources.

On the afternoon of August 17 th an extreme change in the weather on the Nena Springs Fire blew embers out of the containment area and posed a new threat to structures. The OSFM deployed the Red Incident Management Team and task forces to combat this new threat.

That same day, the Milli Fire burning just west of Sisters was declared a conflagration; we activated the Green IMT and five task forces initially. Three days later the Chetco Bar Fire was declared a conflag for which we activated the Blue IMT and four more tasks forces pushing the limit for available structural protection resources around the state.

This was an extraordinary circumstance that surrounded the days leading up to the August 21 st eclipse, a time that we all planned would be exceptionally busy with the influx of visitors and crowds throughout the state. However, I feel in general, things went off without much of a hitch and I couldn’t be more proud of the efforts and response of all of you and your fire agencies.

I know there was a lot of trepidation about what would happen leading up to and on the day of the eclipse, but all in all we saw minimal impacts and I think that was directly related to all of the prior planning and preparation by everyone involved.

I truly appreciate how agencies stepped up to assist even as resources were extremely stretched.

As of this writing, the Green IMT and associated structural task forces have demobilized from the Milli Fire; however, we still have eight task forces and strike teams and the Blue Incident Management Team on the Chetco Bar Fire. (At one point, we had 14 task forces and strike teams on this fire.)

I am pleased at how effectively and admirably all of our deployed and headquarters personnel have performed.
Oregon State Fire Marshal Jim Walker
OSFM's 100 years of service :
Highlights from 1990 to 1999
T his is the ninth 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.

  • First fax machine installed in the Salem office - only two people were authorized to use it.
  • OSFM headquarters moved from Market Street to a new building on Portland Road.

  • OSFM became a division of the Oregon State Police.

  • State Fire Marshal Robert Panuccio appointed.

  • First Fire Investigation Class certified by the Department of Public Safety Standards and Training.
Spotlight on:
OSFM deputy district 11
Counties: Gilliam, Morrow, Sherman, and Umatilla.
  • Deputy State Fire Marshal: Scott Goff, DSFM since 2000
  • Population: 91,734
  • Fire Agencies: 23
  • Approximately 81% volunteer firefighters
  • CR2K facilities: 557
  • Extremely hazardous substance facilities: 105
  • Conflagrations responses in the last 15 years: 18
  • Annual calls (5 year avg): 5,160
  • Annual reported fires (5 year avg): 499
  • Annual Hazmat calls (5 year avg): 36
  • Annual dollar loss (5 year avg): $8,079,958
Did you know :
  • Before a fire destroyed all but two businesses in the 1880s, the city of Weston in Umatilla County rivaled Pendleton. The brick making and milling center also served as the first home to the Eastern Oregon Normal School. Betraying the rivalry, Pendleton newspaper editors once complained about falling behind Weston, which supported street sprinkling to keep the dust down. Apparently, the "system" consisted of two people who spent the entire day passing up and down the main street sprinkling from their 5-gallon cans of water.
Spotlight: Hazmat Team 11
List of current team members & team photo: Jim Hatcher, Jake Rummell, Wade Mathews, Terry Corbit, Eric Halverson, Joey Daniels, Kurt Donaldson, Brett Bishop, Brandon Knight, Aaron Bielemeier, not pictured Tom Jaworski.
H azmat Team11 first became functional in 1992, and is based at the Astoria Fire Department in Astoria. Oregon. The team started as a limited response team with TVF&R as a Level B team for ammonia, chlorine, and petroleum response but later became a standalone Level A team since ammonia and chlorine are Level A type incidents.
The history of responses for HM11 consists of several ammonia leaks at various canneries in the area and chlorine leaks at the old outdoor city pool and at the old YMCA. They have also responded to a couple of propane truck rollovers, tractor- trailer rollovers, motorhome lost its fuel tank, and unknown powders. Other incidents include a chlorine leak at the city’s water head works, decon at two police incidents for possible meth contamination, the decon of members of the Gearhart Fire Department at a structure fire of a suspected drug house, and hazmat identification of unknown barrels that rolled in from the ocean at Ft. Stevens and Pacific City.
HM11 was recognized in 2008 for Call of the Year and in 2012 Mark Truax the team’s hazmat coordinator at the time received “So Others May Succeed” award.
The team currently has 11 members, with most being firefighter paid staff. Team makeup also includes a public works employee, a city police officer, a fire chief from another department, and the local college fire science degree coordinator who is also a volunteer at another department.
HM11’s response area encompasses Clatsop County and all of Clatskanie Rural Fire Protection District’s boundary.
As a team, they train on the last Thursday of every month. On occasion, they have drilled with the Civil Support Team when they are in the area.
HM11’s greatest potential for a hazmat incident is an ammonia incident. Also the Port Westward terminal in Clatskanie receives Bakken Crude and ethanol by train.
The most challenging incident for HM11 was the chlorine leak at the YMCA in downtown Astoria.

“I can’t imagine working with a better group of guys” said Team Administrator Wade Matthews.
HM11 serves the following fire agencies: Astoria FD, Clatskanie RFPD, Canon Beach RFPD, Elsie-Vinemaple RFPD, Gearhart Vol. FD, Hamelt Vol. FD, John Day-Fernhill RFPD, Knappa-Svensen-Burnside RFPD, Lewis & Clark RFPD, Olney Walluski F&R, Seaside F&R, Warrenton FD, Westport-Wauna RFPD.

If your department is interested in receiving outreach training from HM11, please contact Wade Matthews or Brett Bishop at 503-325-2345

October is Fire Prevention Month in Oregon!
This year’s Fire Prevention Month theme is “Every Second Counts: Plan 2 Ways Out!” There are a variety of new and revised resources for Oregon fire agencies and partners, which can be used to educate the public about the importance of having a home fire escape plan and practicing it regularly.

These resources include the following:
Know 2 Ways Out decal stickers                           
Know 2 Ways Out coasters
Social media memes with home escape planning messaging

The OSFM also has a web page on Home Fire Escape Planning which includes resources related to this year’s theme, such as memes, a video, and resource links.

These resources will soon be available in limited quantities, and can be found on our website. Visit our Fire Prevention Month page for more information and our order form to request these and other free educational materials.

Questions? Please contact OSFM’s Fire & Life Safety Education Branch at 503-934-8228 or
Code Corner
by Deputy State Fire Marshal David Mills
Electrical part two: Clarifying the differences in "power strips"
T he use of electronic devices today is such a huge part of our daily lives that it’s hard to think of our world without them.

If you have electronic items, then you undoubtedly have plugged those items into what is commonly known as a power strip, outlet strip, strip plug, or power tap. These devices typically consist of several components, such as multiple electrical receptacles, fuses or other supplementary overcurrent protection, switches, suppression components and/or indicator lights in any combination, or connections for cable, communications, telephone, and/or antenna , and a grounded flexible power cord.

Such a device plugs into your electrical wall outlet and allows you to plug in multiple low-power loads of electronic devices. 

Below is a quick breakdown summary (Figure 1) of the Underwriters Laboratories (UL) reference standards surrounding these power strips, aka relocatable power taps (RPTs) in general business and health care uses.
It is important to understand that there is not a single type of power strip that is suitable for every application in a building. Each category of power strip has a specific purpose and should not be used for a different purpose that it is not designed and approved for.

Due to the specific differences in the UL listing criteria, a new “DRAFT” Technical Advisory has been developed to provide clarity to OFC Section 605.4, Multiplug Adapters, and to the various types of power strip devices as outlined in OFC Section 605.4. 

At the September 26 th 2017, Oregon Fire Code Committee (OFCC) meeting, this new DRAFT Technical Advisory will be reviewed and discussed for application statewide.
Data Connection
News from the Analytics & Intelligence Unit
by OSFM Fire Data Specialist Candice Clark
Oregon Incident Reporting Listserve
To receive information on incident reporting and state reporting systems, subscribe by visiting: .
2016 Annual Report Supplement
The 2016 Annual Report Supplement is now available online, to view visit: .
National Fire Incident Reporting System Training
The Office of State Fire Marshal is conducting 1- and 2-day courses that will cover the National Fire Incident Reporting System (NFIRS) as it applies to all Oregon fire agencies regardless of which software is used.​
The NFIRS course teaches students how to use standardized web-based forms to achieve uniformity in their incident reporting. This training program is designed specifically to support local fire service organizations, and will assist them in providing data to their management, decision makers, and to the State uniform fire reporting system. At a local level, the NFIRS data can be used to:
  • ​Describe a community's fire problem,
  • Support budget requests,
  • Improve decision-making for allocation of resources,
  • Assist in planning for future fire protection,
  • Help identify opportunities for scheduling non-emergency activities,
  • Evaluate code enforcement programs, and
  • Identify target audiences for public fire education programs.
Lunch is provided, lodging will not be provided​​. Attire: Business Casual
Registration Deadline:  August 31, 2017​​
​**  Early registration is recommended, space is LIMITED to 35 participants.  **
Thomas Creek Westside RFPD is hosting a free 1-day course:
Date:  September 9, 2017​
Time: 0800-1700
Location:  Lakeview Emergency Services Building, 245 N F St, Lakeview, OR 97630
Medford Fire & Rescue is hosting a free 2-day course:
Date:  September 14, 2017 - September​ 15, 2017​
Time: 0800-1700
Location:  Medford Fire & Rescue - ​​Station 4, 2208 Table Rock Rd, Medford, OR 97501​
For questions or more information, please contact the Analytics & Intelligence Unit at 503-934-8250 or by email at

Campus Fire Safety Month in Oregon
G overnor Kate Brown has signed a proclamation declaring September as Campus Fire Safety Month in Oregon.

According to The Center for Campus Fire Safety, August and September are typically the worst time of year for fatal campus-related housing fires. Unfortunately, some students do not realize how quickly a fire can occur, and most have not received fire safety education since elementary school.

The goal of Campus Fire Safety Month is to educate students that they are not invincible, that fires do happen in campus-related settings, and that students should take steps to protect themselves no matter where they live.

For more information and education resources, visit .
Register now for the Oregon Fire Marshals Association Technical Education Conference
The Oregon Fire Marshals Association will return to the Oregon Department of Public Safety Standards and Training in Salem, OR., for this year's Technical Education Conference (TEC) November 1-2, 2017.
The two-day conference will offer classes that examine code requirements and application for Hazardous Materials and High-Piled Combustible Storage, and roundtable discussions about tiny houses, food carts, and more. Don’t miss your chance to learn and network with colleagues.
The OFMA/OBOA member price is $150 for a single day and $250 for both days.
Visit  for more information about TEC including the agenda, instructor details, pricing, registering, and more. For questions or assistance, contact Brit Campbell at .  
OSFM Structural Protection Plan Revision
T he OSFM has revised the Structural Protection Plan to include Temporary Refuge Areas (TRAs). We ask that all fire agencies and operations personnel re-familiarize themselves with the document and review the definitions of Safety Zones & TRAs added to the end.

What is a TRA?
A TRA is a preplanned area where firefighters can immediately take refuge shelter and find short-term relief in the event that emergency egress to an established Safety Zone is compromised. Examples include the lee side of a structure, inside a structure, a large lawn or parking area, or inside an apparatus.

Isn’t that a Safety Zone?
Safety Zones have to be calculated to ensure they are the appropriate size. Please visit this Safety Zone Calculations link . The top chart shows the current calculation, on page 8 in the IRPG. A new Incident Response Pocket Guide will be issued in October with the second chart as a revised calculation formula.

What does the addition of TRAs change?
Tactically speaking, nothing. IMTs and responding agencies have been operating with TRAs, they just weren’t always using the same terminology. As with much of the work related to the Structural Protection Plan, the OSFM is trying to define operations currently conducted to ensure all agencies and individuals are speaking the same language.

If you or your department have this document printed to bring to an incident, please reprint and replace with the new version.

The OSFM appreciates the Incident Management Team Safety Officers and Operations personnel for making the revision possible.

Please reach out to if you have any questions about this document or the changes.
NWCG Training System
Assessment & Improvement
T he National Wildfire Coordinating Group is working to improve their training system. They are currently soliciting feedback on:
  • the formatting of position task books (PTBs)
  • the specific tasks included in PTBs for the Operations Section from FFT1/ICT5 through DIVS/ICT3
  • tasks for aviation positions

You can find all of the proposed changes here:

Feedback is accepted until September 15, and it is anticipated that the revised task books will be available in October.

One of the overarching goals of this project is to remove roadblocks which are preventing individuals from getting qualified, and some of the proposed changes will be especially beneficial for structural firefighters working toward wildland qualifications.