We had a 20,000+ acre fire this past weekend on grassland where assistance was requested from local farmers to disc a firebreak (which is not uncommon).
Sometimes we have farmers showing up, unasked, helping out their neighbors, or if they hear over the scanner inquiries about using tractors and discs, they come running.
I have a concern first of all for personal injury and property damage liability if we allow such resources, unabated, into a scene without accountability (or someone could claim damages and not ever come within miles of the scene). Second of all, if resources are not utilized properly, they are obviously not much use and why have them.
My question of other wildland firefighters, has anyone ever set up a prior
"intergovernmental agreement" with private individuals to utilize their equipment in such a situation and then put them on a resource list to call if they are needed"? ;
or, "do you have any suggestions as to manage such civilian resources, BEFORE the incident"?
Some of this is obviously an incident management issue, but I would appreciate any comments or suggestions from agencies who have maybe had similar occurrences.
Jim Crone, Sheriff
Morgan County, Colorado
[ 08-29-2001: Message edited by: Sheriff Jim Crone ]
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08-29-2001, 03:20 PM #1
- Join Date
- Aug 2001
- Fort Morgan, CO
Wildland Firefighting Resource Management
08-31-2001, 11:59 AM #2
- Join Date
- Oct 1999
- missoula, montana
Liability is a huge issue which you have already identified. I can only relate how it works in the eastern part of the state. Oversight is supposed to be provided by state forestry. Although most of the responses are done by the county it is through state DNRC oversight and direction. Individuals with equipment receive basic training, which leaves them to their common sense for survival. There is an attempt to organize, but even in the best of times that often falls by the wayside. The best organizing and training comes from the rural departments, because they are neighbors working together. Obviously if one agency or group of people do not take on the workload and stay with it the whole effort falls apart. Most organizations in the business of wildland suppresion use pre-season inspections, sign-up, and training as an integral part of their preparedness.
09-02-2001, 11:05 PM #3
- Join Date
- Dec 1998
- Black Hawk VFD, South Dakota
The South Dakota Dept of Agriculture, Fire Suppression Division has numerous agreements with Fire Depts., Contractors and private individuals for specialized service.
They also have emergency contracts that can be signed at the point of hire so to speak when needed.
We also have problems with local landowners helping without our knowledge until they show up on the fireline. The best you can do is try to work with landowners and firefighters to educate them on the fire organization. We understand it is their property and probably their livelyhood, but many of them will co-operate once they know what we are doing and why.
We have had some success with running one day wildland fire classes for property owners and farm/ranch community VFDs.
You can probably get more info from the South Dakota WEB Site. Sorry I do not have it handy with me right now.
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