Our Office is launching two new initiatives through investments from Senate Bill 762 that will better prepare Oregon for the impacts of wildfires. Last fire season illustrated the need for our Office to make investments in our communities, fire service, and emergency preparedness. These initiatives will accelerate proactive steps to modernize response across Oregon and empower communities to take steps to reduce their risk and increase their resiliency. The investment in two exciting initiatives will give the OSFM the ability to create, support, and sustain fire adapted communities, modernize our response systems and technology, and build on our Oregon Fire Mutual Aid System (OFMAS) structure and processes.
Response Ready Oregon:
Response Ready Oregon will improve the Oregon Fire Service Mutual Aid System (OFMAS) by modernizing technology, systems, and increasing capacity. OSFM will utilize Regional Mobilization Coordinators to collaborate with fire defense board chiefs (FDBCs) and fire chiefs to develop, administer, and maintain strategies and plans to improve the OFMAS locally, regionally, and statewide. In addition, our Office has added a Training and Safety Officer, Communication Specialist, and Emergency Planner within our operations to better support the OFMAS.
Response Ready Oregon will provide extra capacity to local jurisdictions and Fire Defense Board Chiefs. Components of Response Ready Oregon are:
- Modernize systems and technology at the appropriate scale to support the Oregon Fire Mutual Aid System
- Assist the Oregon Fire Service by creating and enhancing the local and regional mutual aid plans
- Assist the Fire Defense Board Chiefs during initial attack, assessing of fire, and requesting conflagration if necessary
- Regional inventory of apparatus
- Fire season readiness reviews
- Assist in determining fire service gaps and needs
- Liaise with the emergency management community, ODF, and other state, tribal, and federal wildland fire partners.
Response Ready Oregon Mobilization Coordinators will work with you to become a resource embedded in your communities through five defined regions. They assist in developing mutual-aid agreements within assigned regions and statewide, communicate with partners to establish a baseline level of protection for all Oregon lands, and coordinate agreements with the local, state, federal, and tribal wildfire response partners. In addition, our Regional Coordinators will work in lockstep with the Deputy State Fire Marshals’ throughout this summer to build relationships and capacity for the Oregon Fire Service Mutual Aid System. The recruitment and hiring are underway and almost complete.
Fire Adapted Oregon:
Fire Adapted Oregon will prepare communities for fire by identifying local risks, developing community risk reduction plans, and using an integrated and strategic investment of resources to reduce fire occurrence and impact. Targeted efforts include improvement of structural resiliency to wildfire, enhancement of defensible space for homes and surrounding structures, adequate access and egress in the event of wildfire events, and overall improvement of structural fire prevention efforts through community risk reduction efforts.
Fire Adapted Oregon will provide extra capacity to local jurisdictions for fire prevention and community risk reduction efforts. Components of Fire Adapted Oregon are:
- Improve community resiliency to wildfire
- Enhance defensible space for homes and surrounding structures
- Investment locally to assist communities and fire service with prevention, adaptation, and mitigation efforts
- Improve structural fire prevention through community risk reduction efforts
- Improve public awareness of wildland fire and its impact to communities
- Improve public readiness for wildland fire
Fire Adapted Oregon Fire Risk Reduction Specialists will work with community leaders to help formalize and build capacity to help communities take actions that will reduce their wildfire risk within existing local contexts. In partnership with local fire agencies and community leaders, they will develop risk reduction plans, provide technical assistance in community risk reduction strategies, connect efforts statewide, provide local education, and coordinate fire safety information and training as needed. In addition, our Fire Risk Reduction Specialists will be working closely with the Deputy State Fire Marshals to ensure complete, coordinated plans and be a resource to local efforts currently underway.
Many exciting changes are coming to the Office of State Fire Marshal. Added capacity in the face of increased demands of our Office, the Oregon Fire Service, and our partners will better serve our public. These initiatives and added capacity will continue to increase our Office’s ability to respond to, prepare for, and protect communities from wildfire.
Please don’t hesitate to share this with your partners. We look forward to working with you in the future.
Office of State Fire Marshal