Monday, June 15, 2015

Improving Response Capacity in Eastern Oregon


Engine 7441 available to both ODF and USFS. Photo: Matt Howard

On some of the remotest landscape in Eastern Oregon, Oregon Department of Forestry has partnered with the US Forest Service to expand its response area and provide an well-equipped engine for initial attack on public lands that normally takes hours to reach and can compromise resource levels. It's called the Fence Creek Initial Attack Extension Network (IAEN).

The additions to ODF's response area enhance initial attack capacity on federal lands. Both ODF and US Forest Service Duty Officers can dispatch this engine and its crew. Billing for the incident responses are sorted out and paid by the appropriate jurisdiction. 

The benefits of this IAEN are numerous.  Regardless of which organization orders the engine, if the fire ends up on USFS land, the USFS will reimburse ODF.  If this engine can help regular district resources to stop a large fire in the middle of USFS ownership or on private land, this will reduce the potential threat of a costly wildfire and keep shared resources readily available. The agreement enables both agencies to coordinate more and bolster and already strong working relationship and provides a training opportunity for engine crews. 

Photo credit: Matt Howard

 

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