Bureau of Land Management opens applications for wildland fire equipment in Oregon and Washington

March 4, 2024
wildfire firefighters

Bureau of Land Management enhances wildland firefighting capabilities

The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) has announced the opening of a 30-day application period for wildland fire equipment under its Rural Fire Readiness (RFR) program in Oregon and Washington.

This initiative aims to bolster the firefighting capabilities of wildland firefighting partners by providing them with necessary training and equipment, including supplies and communication devices.

The RFR program offers a streamlined process for local cooperators to request and receive excess BLM firefighting equipment, enhancing their ability to protect communities, natural resources, and critical infrastructure.

Jeff Fedrizzi, BLM Oregon-Washington State Fire Management Officer, emphasized the value of this program: “We value our important partnerships with rural fire protection districts and rangeland fire protection associations.

“This program helps us all work better together in our collective interest of public safety.”

The equipment, including supplies and radios, is prepared for immediate use by local firefighting partners.

Notably, wildland fire engines are equipped with essential items like hoses, fittings, tools, and radios.

Application process for 2024 cycle underway

For the year 2024, the BLM is accepting applications from rural fire protection districts and rangeland fire protection associations for a range of firefighting resources.

These resources include vehicles, fire engines, equipment, and supplies.

Cooperators who had submitted requests in 2023 and wish to retain their priority do not need to submit a new request for the current cycle.

They are encouraged to contact cooperating BLM districts to discuss incorporating their previous request into the 2024 cycle.

The BLM plans to transfer excess items to qualifying cooperators, prioritizing equipment availability.

In 2022, BLM employees successfully transferred a water tender to the Wheeler County Rangeland Fire Protection Association, exemplifying the program’s effectiveness in resource allocation.

Eligibility and application details

To participate in the RFR program, cooperators must collaborate with their local BLM districts prior to application.

Eligibility criteria include having an existing cooperative fire response agreement with the BLM, serving a rural community or area with wildland fire protection responsibilities, and being located near BLM-administered lands.

Additionally, applicants should respond to wildland fires in support of the BLM when available and as needed, and provide a benefit to the BLM.

Interested parties can find district contacts and submit their applications online at the BLM’s Rural Fire Readiness application page or opt for hard copy submissions.

All applications must be submitted by March 29.

FSJA Comment

The Bureau of Land Management’s Rural Fire Readiness program represents a strategic effort to strengthen the capabilities of local firefighting entities in Oregon and Washington.

By providing access to essential firefighting equipment and training, the program demonstrates a collaborative approach to fire management, fostering a stronger, more prepared network of responders.

The focus on community safety and resource protection aligns with broader efforts to manage and mitigate the increasing challenges posed by wildland fires in the region.

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