Current situation

Check with your local district or forest protection association for restrictions or use ODF's fire restrictions and closures webpage for the latest details at https://www.oregon.gov/ODF/Fire/Pages/Restrictions.aspx.

Sunday, November 11, 2018

ODF Continues Support for Hurricane Michael Response Efforts


Due to the extensive destruction caused by Hurricane Michael, the Florida Division of Emergency Management requested additional Incident Management Teams.  ODF stepped up to fill this request, working with Oregon’s Office of Emergency Management (OEM), and sending a third team to assist with relief and recovery efforts.  


As with recent deployments, this request was coordinated through the Emergency Management Assistance Compact (EMAC). The EMAC provides mutual assistance among states and territories during any governor-declared state of emergency through a responsive system. This structure allows states to send personnel, equipment, and supplies to assist with response and relief efforts in other states.

This ODF Team, led by Incident Commander Link Smith, arrived in Tallahassee, Fla. Nov. 6, where they received an in-briefing from the Florida National Guard at the Tallahassee Base Camp. Their current mission is to assist with oversight of the Base Camp located in Marianna, Fla., in the heart of the destruction zone. Their assignment includes ensuring the safety and welfare of Base Camp and coordination of communication efforts.

ODF IMT (Smith) at Base Camp in Mariana, FL
reunited with Florida PIO who was
deployed to Oregon during the 2018 Fire Season.
ODF Agency Representative Dennis Lee mobilized with the team to oversee coordination of both of the ODF teams currently deployed in Florida. “The magnitude of destruction here is difficult to convey for those back at home,” Lee said. “Along with the devastation of so many homes and buildings, the sheer volume of what I would refer to as near-deforestation is somewhat unreal. Despite all of this, life goes on for everyone here and the resiliency of the local residents is truly inspiring. We are honored to be here to do our part in helping our Florida friends put the pieces back together.”

While ODF utilizes the EMAC most often during fire season, agency Incident Management Teams maintain All-Hazard qualifications to ensure capacity for potential disaster relief needs. ODF’s complete and coordinated fire suppression system relies on strong partnerships with other agencies, states and even countries, offering reciprocal assistance in times of need.

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The purpose of this blog is to provide breaking news about wildfire activity on the forestlands protected by the Oregon Department of Forestry. We invite you to post questions or comments about current wildfires. Please keep your posts civil and free of profanity.

Current wildfire info

National weather forecasters predictions that Oregon would see above average temperatures and below average rainfall in the summer of 2018 proved true. Almost all of Oregon was abnormally dry this summer, with a majority of the state in moderate to severe drought. Many areas posted record high temperatures or record strings of hot days. These conditions set the stage for potentially large, fast-moving wildfires.


What we do

Protection jurisdiction
The Oregon Dept. of Forestry protects 16 million acres of private and public forestlands from wildfire. This includes all private forestlands in Oregon as well as state and local government-owned forests, along with 2.8 million acres of federal Bureau of Land Management lands in the western part of the state. In total there are about 30.4 million acres of forest in Oregon.

Fire suppression policy
The department fights fire aggressively, seeking to put out most fires at 10 acres or smaller. This approach minimizes damage to the timber resource and fish and wildlife habitat, and protects lives and property. It also saves money. While suppressing large fires can cost millions of dollars, economic and environmental damage from wildfires can be many times greater.

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Oregon Dept. of Forestry's public information officers in Salem, Ore., maintain this blog. During the wildfire season, we spend much of our time reporting on fires and firefighting to news media and the public.