Welcome to the california nevada hawaii forest fire council annual meeting
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WELCOME to the CALIFORNIA NEVADA HAWAII FOREST FIRE COUNCIL ANNUAL MEETING. OIG Report Forest Service Large Fire Suppression Costs. Local Fire Agency Perspective Fire Chief Michael D. Brown NLTFPD. Wildland Fire Suppression .

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Welcome to the california nevada hawaii forest fire council annual meeting

Oig report forest service large fire suppression costs

OIG ReportForest Service Large Fire Suppression Costs

Local Fire Agency Perspective

Fire Chief Michael D. Brown


Wildland fire suppression
Wildland Fire Suppression

  • Local fire agencies are dedicated to the suppression of wildland fires quickly, in the most cost effective manner as possible.

  • Fires that start on boundaries outside of local fire jurisdictions are still considered the responsibility of local fire districts in cooperation with our large landowners suchas BLM and the USFS.

Wildland fire suppression1
Wildland Fire Suppression

  • This spirit of cooperation and commitment has and will continue to result in minimizing the numbers of lives impacted and the size of wildland fires in the interface.

  • The fire service leaders in Northern Nevada and the Tahoe Basin are committed to the provision of an all forces approach to combat the threat of catastrophic fire, year round 24/7.

Prior to the oig report
Prior to the OIG Report

  • In the past, the local agreements and annual operating plans proposed by our federal partners were based on some level of equality. Unfortunately, the staffing patterns and fiscal constraints which our federal partners are governed by results in a lack of equity during initial attack and an approach to cost share that does not take into account the value the local government fire agencies contribute to protecting federal lands year round.

Local fire department opinion
Local Fire Department Opinion

  • Local agreements, operating plans and cost share must be developed in recognition of the value local government fire agencies provide pre, during and post fire incident.

Wildland fire incident multiple jurisdictions with land ownership
Wildland Fire Incident Multiple Jurisdictions with Land Ownership

  • Incident Response per Agency Requirements

  • Establishment of an IC

  • Unified Command

  • Objectives Defined

  • Strategies and Tactics Discussed

  • Implementation of the PLAN

Wildland incident current trend
Wildland IncidentCurrent Trend

  • Establishment of property ownership as rapidly as possible.

  • Cost Share Agreements attempted to be negotiated during the incident.

  • Cost Share negotiations implemented by Federal Agency Member.

  • Local Municipal Fire Agency Chief Officers normally at disadvantage to negotiate during incident.

Local fire chief perspective
Local Fire Chief Perspective

“The cost share negotiating process was adversarial, territorial and appeared to emphasize cost savings over cooperation. The USFS techniques used are more like strong arm tactics then cost sharing. Negotiating a cost share agreement while a fire attack is being conducted is like negotiating costs with your surgeon during the middle of your heart surgery”.

Local agency task force cost share
Local Agency Task ForceCost Share

  • Cost share should not be undertaken during initial attack.

  • If cost share negotiations are to take place, it must include the local agency administrator.

  • If Cost share is to be negotiated it will only be considered if a formalized Unified Command is managing the incident.

Local agency task force recommendations
Local Agency Task ForceRecommendations

  • It is critical that local government chiefs be knowledgeable in unified command and engages early in the incident.

  • Agency reps should be trained and well versed in cost share/cost apportionment and act as technical advisors to the local government fire chief if requested.

  • Prior to May of 2008 the Tahoe Basin Chiefs and Northern Nevada Chiefs will host a one-day cost share seminar. The preferred presenter’s would be from Cal Fire, NDF and the Forest service or BLM.

  • In addition, if a California OES Fire and Rescue Chief Officer is on the incident, it is recommended that the local government chief invite the rep to any and all cost share meetings.

Structure protection

  • The task force believes that an all forces attack is paramount to protecting lives, property and minimizing fire spread. This concept is important to keep in mind when individuals undertake cost share.

  • A definition of structure protection needs to be agreed upon. The definition should include examples of when structure protection transitions to parameter control and or direct attack.


  • The task force agreed that the development of agreement templates would have a positive impact on standardizing local agreements with our federal partners and improving the cost share agreement process.

Oig has it had an impact on local jurisdictions
OIGHas it had an impact on local jurisdictions?

  • State and local agencies are being impacted with Federal Cost Share agreements.

  • Local jurisdictions are surrounded or abutted by properties owned and managed by Bureau of Land Management (BLM) or Forest Service (USFS).

What needs to be done
What needs to be done

  • Local Jurisdictions without alternative funding options, i.e. state funds should create special funds specific to paying their portions of cost-share.

  • The State Legislatures should be petitioned to establish wildland fire suppression funds which can be made available to local government to fund cost-share agreements.

What needs to be done1
What needs to be done

  • Consideration should be given to the renegotiation of federal/non-federal agency inter-local or cooperative agreements with specific reference to financial responsibilities in fire suppression.

  • The federal government should be encouraged to allow for as much flexibility as possible in determining which methods will be used to establish financial responsibility in cost sharing agreements.

What needs to be done2
What needs to be done

  • A fiscally and comprehensive approach to wildland fire management and suppression should be encouraged, one which does not compromise safety, and carefully connects values at risk to strategic and tactical suppression decisions with cost containment as a objective.

What needs to be done3
What needs to be done

  • Because cost sharing is an emerging issue for the fire service, it is also recommended that additional review, audit, and study be considered.

Thank you to our task force members
Thank you to our Task Force Members

  • Kurt Latipow Washoe County Fire Coordinator

  • Marty Scheruman, Division Chief Reno Fire

  • Bryce Keller, Fire Chief Truckee Fire PD

  • Todd Carlini, Fire Chief East Fork FPD

  • Duane Whitelaw, Fire Chief NTFPD

  • Stacy Giomi, Fire Chief Carson City FD

  • Mike Greene, Fire Chief Sierra Fire PD

  • Guy LeFever, Fire Chief Tahoe Douglas FPD

  • Lorenzo Gigliotti, City of South Lake Tahoe Fire