May 2019
Published by the Oregon Office of State Fire Marshal
Working Together in Oregon to Promote Wildfire Prevention
Despite our typically wet Oregon spring and even floods in the Willamette Valley, much of Oregon has not escaped drought conditions. The National Weather Service last month reported abnormally dry or drought conditions for nearly the entire state.

This outlook means risks for wildfires in Oregon will remain a concern statewide. Similar concerns are seen throughout the West. This month, our office will be working in partnership with local, state, and federal agencies to promote May as Wildfire Awareness Month, to help Oregonians promote awareness about wildfires and stop them before they start.

You will be hearing from the Office of State Fire Marshal and our many collaborators throughout May, as we’ll be working with state partners like the Oregon Department of Forestry, Keep Oregon Green, and the Office of Emergency Management. All of us will be reaching out on social media and other channels with federal agencies like FEMA and the U.S. Forest Service.

Together we want to increase public awareness about the fire season and dangers posed by wildfire and to reduce risks of wildfire to homes and communities. We will be talking about creating defensible space, preventing wildfires, and wildfire safety. Through collaboration with our residents and communities, we can ensure more homes and properties are not lost to fires. Please share with your neighbors the steps they can take to build a more fire-adaptive community.

Like last year, Gov. Kate Brown will be issuing this proclamation with the states of Montana, Idaho, California, Nevada, Utah, South Dakota, North Dakota, Colorado, Wyoming, and Washington. Things kicked off April 29, with the announcement of Wildfire Community Preparedness Day on May 4. These states recognize the threats posed to people and property as they move into wildland areas.

At the OSFM, we want to collaborate with our local fire districts to share these messages all month long. Every Oregonian can play a role in prevention. Our residents and communities have a greater awareness that many of them will be living with wildfires in the future.

Thanks again for all you do and your work promoting Wildfire Awareness Month.
Oregon State Fire Marshal Jim Walker
Governor’s Wildfire Response Council Gets to Work
T he Governor’s Wildfire Response Council held its second meeting in Salem on April 23. The council is charged with developing recommendations to strengthen, improve, or replace existing wildfire response in Oregon.

State Fire Marshal Jim Walker is an ex-officio member of the 40-member council, along with state lawmakers, industry, state agency, business, community, NGO, tribal, and other stakeholders.

Three committees have been created focusing on mitigation, suppression, and adaptation and recovery.
During the recent meeting, council members heard from scientists from Oregon State University about the impacts of wildfire on the environment, human health, and Oregon communities. Council members also received briefings about how fire suppression efforts are coordinated in Oregon and how state agencies work with their federal partners on fire suppression.

Members of the council's three committees created by the council provided updates on their respective group's work. The committees will be helping the council develop recommendations to be made to Gov. Kate Brown when its work finishes in September.

Chief Deputy State Fire Marshal Mariana Ruiz-Temple and Office of State Fire Marshal (OSFM) staff are actively involved in the Suppression Committee, tasked with creating recommendations surrounding suppression models and funding in the state. That group has six areas of focus, including working relationships with federal partners, jurisdictional considerations, organizational structure, and funding. Committee stakeholders include the structural fire service, landowners, county commissioners, private contractors, and other parties impacted by fire response in Oregon. 

For its part, the OSFM continues to share information with the council and committee members on the need for more stable funding and the importance of fire prevention, as well as partnerships with the Oregon fire service to create more fire-adaptive communities.

Information about the council and its members, and copies of presentations, can be found on the council’s webpage . The next meeting is scheduled for June 7.
Listening Sessions Held Throughout April
The Office of State Fire Marshal (OSFM) recently completed the first step of a statewide listening tour that took us to eight Oregon communities most at risk to impacts from wildfire.

We organized the majority of our listening sessions in April to meet with the Oregon fire service and community leaders and learn how our office can best work with your communities in response to conflagrations and the ongoing threats of wildfires.

All told, OSFM staff met with nearly 120 members of the local fire service, public safety officers, planners, and local leaders. Our travels took us to Sunriver, John Day, Hermiston, Klamath Falls, Grants Pass, Brookings, Condon, and Maupin/Tygh Valley — all communities that have been impacted by wildfires in the past few years and that have been shown to be at risk in the future. We next will be meeting with tribal representatives.

During our conversations, we discussed how to support and promote fire prevention, local needs including capacity, and how to improve overall response with existing resources.

The next step will be compiling comments from these conversations into a report we will be sharing with our fire service partners and stakeholders. We also will be meeting with other areas of the state during “phase 2” in the fall. Input from our local partners and their ideas will help the OSFM to build investments for the next six years, in order to support combined firefighting and response efforts. Thanks to all of our local partners for their time and valuable input to help us protect Oregonians and their communities. 
Code Corner
by OSFM Code Deputy David Mills
Indoor Displays for Alternative Fueled Vehicles
It has become commonplace for covered malls and larger retail stores to have gas or liquid-fueled vehicles on inside display for promotional events. 

Each generation of cars incorporates industry advancements in fuel sources, more sophisticated safety features, and more reliance upon on-board battery systems. The new 2019 Oregon Fire Code also reflects this trend. It states in Section 314.4:

Liquid-fueled or gaseous-fueled vehicles, boats or other motorcraft shall not be located indoors except as outlined in items 1 through 4.

This first sentence was revised to add gaseous-fueled vehicles to the list of those covered under this section, and now applies to vehicles fueled by natural gas, propane, and, most recently, hydrogen.

Technology has advanced and brought alternative fueled vehicles. Some of these alternative fueled vehicles have gas alarms that can be disabled if the batteries are disconnected. Item No. 1 has been revised to allow the fire code official to determine which method of safeguarding is most appropriate for the vehicle in question.

1. Batteries are disconnected except where the fire code official requires that the batteries remain connected to maintain safety features.

In some cases, it may be more appropriate to leave the batteries connected and the safety systems in operation. For example, many newer vehicles with the alternative gaseous fuels have built-in sensors to detect leaks or overpressure. Disconnecting the batteries will drop power to the sensors, disabling these important safety devices.
Data Connection
News from the Analytics & Intelligence Unit
by Program Coordinator Kayla Brookshire
If you are interested in how-to guides for the ImageTrend Elite website on topics related to agency management or running reports, the Analytics & Intelligence Unit has created a forum on Yammer. Our group is called Data Connection Updates from Analytics & Intelligence. You can access the page by clicking here . The Yammer website will require you to create an account to access the page.
ImageTrend Elite: Scheduled Reports in Report Writer:
Does your agency frequently use the ImageTrend Report Writer tool to retrieve data? If so, you may be interested in a feature of Report Writer that allows you to schedule reports.

Scheduled reports can be helpful for two distinct reasons:
1. Scheduled reports allow you to set up a recurring report to be delivered to your email address automatically at specific intervals (daily, weekly, monthly, quarterly, or yearly), eliminating the need to manually log in and run the needed report each time. You can choose to have the recurring reports delivered in a .pdf or .csv (Excel file) format.

2. Scheduled reports also allow you to bypass server slowness. If you are having issues pulling a large report with many rows of data for example, a grant data report you can schedule a one-time run of the report. Scheduled reports are prioritized for server resources, so even when a report fails due to a server time out when you attempt to pull data manually, a scheduled report may be able to successfully deliver the data to your email.

A “how to” guide has been posted to the Analytics & Intelligence Yammer page. Please create an account on our page to view the guide.

If you have any issues accessing the guide, please contact the Analytics & Intelligence Unit by phone at (503) 934-8250 or by email at .
Heidi Moawad Wins
Silver Sparky Award
Chief Deputy State Fire Marshal Mariana Ruiz-Temple (left), Heidi Moawad, Gov. Kate Brown, and State Fire Marshal Jim Walker.  
Each May at the Oregon Fire Chief’s Association's annual meeting, the Office of State Fire Marshal awards an individual or organization its Silver Sparky Award for outstanding achievement or contributions to the fire service in fire prevention or public fire safety education for civilians. 

This year, the Office of State Fire Marshal (OSFM) visited the Capitol and presented the award a month early to Heidi Moawad, Gov. Kate’s Brown former public safety policy advisor, who has been appointed to and now serves as judge on the Multnomah County Circuit Court.

In her former role, Moawad was readily accessible to discuss legislative and political issues that faced the OSFM and the Oregon fire service and was instrumental in creating a strong connection with Gov. Brown, leading to quicker conflagration responses.

Disasters typically do not occur during work hours, and Moawad made sure she was always available, from the first conflagration in 2013, the Douglas Complex, to the Klondike Fire in 2018. During her six years, she was a part of 31 conflagrations, from Two Bulls to Eagle Creek, just to name a few, and other incidences such as the Umpqua Community College tragedy, the Mosier Train derailment, four emergency management assistance compact (EMAC) requests to California fires, and two EMAC requests to the 2018 Florida hurricanes.

Thank you, Heidi, for your dedication to public safety and your service to Oregon, its communities, and all Oregonians. 
Agencies Partner to Promote Wildfire Awareness Month
Wildfire Awareness Month is a public awareness campaign that highlights wildfire prevention education messages, events, and opportunities for involvement statewide. Local, state, and federal fire agencies can use the month of May to share wildfire prevention messages and the steps Oregonians can take to stop most fires before they start.

This collaborative effort calls on residents to be mindful of the growing risk for wildfires and to follow basic fire-safety precautions.

May 2019 marks the 18th year of the annual campaign and the 11th year of Oregon’s involvement in a proclamation that now includes 11 western states working together to address wildfire issues: Oregon, Montana, Idaho, California, Nevada, Utah, South Dakota, North Dakota, Colorado, Wyoming, and Washington.

To support awareness messaging prior to fire season, there will be a coordinated communications strategy among state and federal agencies and nonprofit partners. Please keep an eye on Facebook and Twitter accounts for these daily posts and share them with your followers. Collaboration will boost this messaging and spread these messages widely.

Each week, a news release will also be distributed statewide focusing on the fire prevention topics below.
  • April 29 (NFPA Wildfire Community Preparedness Day on May 4)
  • May 6 (defensible space)
  • May 13 (debris burning)
  • May 20 (campfires heading into Memorial Day)
  • May 28 (smoke resilient communities/smoke mitigation)
  • June 3 (Ready, Set, Go)
Ready, Set, Go” messaging highlights actions that are needed to be ready for wildfires and all emergencies. Ready begins with creating defensible space, using fire-resistant landscaping, and hardening homes with fire-safe building materials. Set is having an evacuation plan for your family and pets and packing your emergency items. Go is acting early and following your personal evacuation plan. 

Keep Oregon Green hosts a toolkit for Wildfire Awareness Month and prevention resources in general:  (password: SmokeyBear).

Through joint funding, Keep Oregon Green and the Office of State Fire Marshal will run sponsorship ads on OPB. They will begin airing the second week of May and conclude in early June. The Oregon Association of Broadcasters will also run special Wildfire Awareness Month messages throughout May.
Fireworks: The Roles of OSFM and Local Agencies 
With the 2019 fireworks season just around the corner, the Office of State Fire Marshal (OSFM) wants to remind its partners about the roles and responsibilities of our office and local authorities regarding the approval and enforcement of fireworks in Oregon .

OSFM Roles
Oregon Revised Statute 480.111-480.165, which regulates fireworks, provides authority to specific entities to conduct certain activities. Under these ORSs, the OSFM is mandated to issue fireworks permits for the use of pest control (agricultural) fireworks, the display of non-consumer fireworks, and the sale of both display and Oregon consumer fireworks. Other services the OSFM Regulatory Services Division can provide include: sharing information regarding the fireworks statues and rules, helping facilitate assistance from the Oregon State Police when appropriate, and providing guidance and information to local law enforcement agencies regarding the seizure, storage, and pick up of fireworks.

Local Agency Roles and Authorities
The fireworks statues provides for local authorities to control fireworks in their communities. ORS 480.140 places the supervision of fireworks displays under the local fire and police agency or in unprotected, areas the county court. ORS 480.160 (4) allows for the regulation of fireworks at the local level by the governing body of a rural fire protection district. OAR 837-012-0860 (9-11) requires displays to be postponed or discontinued by the local authority if there are adverse conditions, lack of crowd control, or significant weather conditions that affect safety recognized by the local fire or law enforcement authority. ORS 480.120(2) requires law enforcement agencies of the state, county, or municipality to enforce the provisions of ORS 480.111-480.165.

Below is a table that summarizes the roles of OSFM and local authorities relating to the retail sales of consumer fireworks, fireworks displays, and enforcement activities. 
Regional HazMat Teams Add Multi-Threat Protective Suits to their Inventory
In April, the Office of State Fire Marshal’s network of 13 regional HazMat teams was equipped with Lions MT94 chemical-protective suits. These rugged and durable, yet comfortable, multi-threat HazMat garments are constructed to the NFPA 1994 Class 2 standard. This standard defines a class of personal protection equipment that, according to the National Fire Protection Association, “protect[s] against chemical warfare agents, toxic industrial chemicals, biological agents (bloodborne pathogens), and particulates.”

These suits will complement the teams’ existing inventory of Level A vapor-encapsulating and Level B splash-protective chemical protective suits for response to petrochemical transportation incidents, as well as supporting response partners on incidents involving chemical, biological, and radiological threats.

To learn more about the Lions MT94 chemical-protective suit, please visit the manufacturer's website.

To identify and connect with the regional HazMat team in your service area, contact Regional Hazardous Materials Emergency Response Team (RHMERT) Program Coordinator Jamie Kometz at (503) 934-8280 or
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