Spring Meeting

Tuesday, March 19, 2002



I.                     Introductions


II.                   Agency Reports

A.                  NPS (Beth Card)

1.                    Status of hiring

a.                    Would like some guidance on hiring a secondary fire position

b.                   Will be looking for help with prescribed burning


B.                   TNC (Eric Rosenquist)

1.                    Will assist with other agencies’ burn programs

a.                    Working to get personnel trained

(1)                 TNC burn bosses are qualified as NWCG RXB2

(2)                 Have hired a training officer to develop programs to train according to NWCG standards

(3)                 Focus is prescribed fire, not wildfire

(4)                 Need to have agreements with agencies

(5)                 Other agencies could hire TNC employees as AD’s, but will need to look into this more

b.                   Can assist with getting money and cooperation with landowners

c.                    Would like to work together to help the ND burn programs

d.                   Will list employees with NDC (availability)

e.                    Engines are not capable of off-unit work


C.                   USFS (Maure Sand)

1.                    Hiring

a.                    Have an AFMO position in Watford City that will be filled shortly

b.                   Currently have two open positions: engine supervisor (GS-7) and an assistant engine supervisor (GS-6)

c.                    Four seasonal positions will be available

2.                    9000 acres identified on Sheyenne National Grasslands

3.                    1000 acres on Grand River (Lemon, SD)

4.                    Ponderosa Pine Burn

a.                    Slope County

b.                   Private, State, and Federal lands

c.                    Working on NEPA right now

5.                    RFDs have provided initial attack for years at a low cost- will start signing contracts with them this year so they will get compensated at a better rate

6.                    Coal Vein Fires

a.                    Safety hazard- farmers concerned about cattle

b.                   Contracted with a backhoe to dig these up, but the cost was extremely high

c.                    Are now trenching around the coal veins, which is much cheaper and seems to work

7.                    Camp Crook is looking for assistance on a large burn this spring (Jerry Martinez is the contact)


D.                  USFWS (Dave Walker)

1.                    Hiring

a.                    Working on seasonal hiring- number of applicants is low this year

b.                   Zone FMO position is in the process of hiring

2.                    Looking towards accomplishing 28,000 acres this year

3.                    Rick Willoughby is the Wildland Urban Interface Coordinator for ND/SD

a.                    Stationed at J. Clark Salyer right now

b.                   Will coordinate with interagency projects, but it is a FWS funded position

4.                    Will be looking for assistance with spring burning


E.                   Private (Bob Bell)

1.                    Has located 3 contractors in ND

a.                    Leonard

b.                   Beach

c.                    Williston

2.                    Tenders and engines- will pass out a handout tomorrow

3.                    Intend to train inspectors and put together lists of fully qualified equipment and operators- will give to dispatch centers

4.                    Looking for more contractors in ND and eastern MT (Billings and Miles City areas)- give Bob any information you may have

5.                    Will assist with prescribed burning if they can

6.                    Will discuss more issues tomorrow


F.                   BOR (Walt Fairbanks)

1.                    Signed onto the National Fire Plan

a.                    Does not have policy yet

b.                   Does not have funding yet

2.                    Burning is a low priority right now

3.                    Looking to cooperate with other agencies for prescribed burning- have contacted TWR

4.                    Hoping to get a fire program going soon


G.                   BLM (Don Rufledt & Mike Dannenberg)

1.                    Have contact with some RFDs (Watford City, Rhame, Killdeer, Richardton, Marmoth)

2.                    Are not planning to burn anything this year

3.                    Dispatch center is gearing up for the season (Mike Dannenberg)

4.                    Working on WUI monies

5.                    Always looking for help on their prescribed burns (MT)

6.                    Looking for training opportunities (especially burn bosses)

a.                    Jim Grey is a good contact (406-896-2911)


H.                  NDG&F (Randy Littlefield)

1.                    Last year was the first time they required a fitness test

a.                    Light walking test

b.                   Will continue to use this for the 2002 season

2.                    Will be joint-burning with the FWS

3.                    Employees could be available for prescribed burning, but they need to meet DOI standards              


I.                     DEM (Janell Quinlan)

1.                    Waiting for guidance from FEMA to rewrite part of the state plan

2.                    Right now their main focus is Homeland Security


J.                    NDFS (Mike Santucci)

1.                    Hiring

a.                    Dave Geyer has been working with several RFDs around the state

b.                   Authorized to hire a community fire planning individual

2.                    Grants program

a.                    Cost-share money for RFDs

b.                   Had $1/2 million that was distributed among departments this year

3.                    Have one engine and about 8 red-carded individuals

4.                    Training schedule has been distributed- anyone can attend, as long as there is room


III.                 Discussion of agency reports

A.                  Staffing

1.                    Levels are low, but the agencies have to staff according to lower funding this year

2.                    Engines

a.                    USFS has 4 type 6 engines this year

b.                   NPS has 2 type 6 (1 new model 52 this year)

c.                    Looks like rural departments are interested in using their equipment to assist with fires

(1)                 NDS can assist with costs associated with engines meeting NWCG standards

d.                   NDS engine is available, but would like to look into compensation if it is used regularly

B.                   Established rates for prescribed burning (contracting)

1.                    FWS does not have set rates yet

2.                    Maure would like each agency to work together to set similar rates

3.                    NPS includes prescribed burning in cooperative agreements with RFDs

C.                   Does the NDS have an agreement covering prescribed burning?

1.                    No, but are working on an Annual Operating Plan

2.                    Mike Dannenberg would like to use ND RFDs to assist in MT

a.                    BLM would pay the state and the state would reimburse the RFD

b.                   Use standard rates for payment

D.                  SD has had problems with RFDs contracting with each agency

1.                    Too many contracts- gets confusing and causes bidding wars

2.                    It is a good idea to set up an Interagency Annual Operating Plan

E.                   Need to look at statements in the Umbrella Agreement


IV.                 Committee Reports

A.                  Prevention Committee (Dave Geyer)

1.                    Would like to have all of the agencies represented on the committee

a.                    Everyone needs to be on the same page when distributing information

b.                   Need names of interested individuals from each agency

c.                    Would like to have the committee running by the end of April

2.                    Issues

a.                    Landowner and cooperator education

b.                   WUI ratings for each zone within ND

c.                    Restrictions- need to align fire danger rating and restrictions within ND

d.                   Integrate prevention with readiness reviews

3.                    DEM has coordinated with broadcasters to broadcast the daily fire index (Janell Quinlan)

4.                    Mike Santucci will bring a display in to show everyone tomorrow- it  has been used for fire prevention education

5.                    Train-the-trainer dealing with NR restrictions and closings will be held in Bozeman on March 29 from 1000-1400 (Mike Dannenberg)

a.                    Background material and intent of guidelines

b.                   Zone plans

c.                    Standardized exemptions

d.                   Contact Mike Dannenberg for more information

e.                    NPS has their own plan right now

f.                     FWS restrictions are dependant upon each refuge Fire Management Plan (FMP)

g.                   NR Plan is on the NRCG web page

h.                   Mike Dannenberg will send a BLM representative to assist with ND training after the Bozeman training

(1)                 Prevention Committee will work out the logistics of this training and distribute information

6.                    Prevention training April 22-25 (contact Mike Dannenberg for more info)

7.                    Can some of these trainings be done via interactive television?

8.                    Fire Prevention Grants (Dave Walker)

a.                    Will try to coordinate with Rick Willoughby on this

b.                   Would like to produce a flyer dealing with fire prevention around communities

c.                    Need to address the media and the issues they deal with

d.                   Would like to work as an interagency group

9.                    USFS met with SRA (Maure Sand)

a.                    Discussed burning trash and distributing grates to place over burn barrels to prevent debris from igniting grass

b.                   Fire danger signs would be helpful

(1)                 Mike Santucci worked on this- two communities in ND would be interested in a sign

(2)                 More help is needed to encourage signs and fire prevention in local communities

(3)                 Who would change the sign? (Shane Del Grosso)

(a)                 RFDs should look on the web or contact local agencies to find current fire danger

(b)                 RFDs can judge for themselves what their current danger is

(4)                 Local Scout groups would be good candidates to make signs (Mike Dannenberg)

(5)                 Talk to Mike Santucci about funding for signs

10.                 Gary Lindsay would like local people and federal agencies to have the same fire danger ratings

a.                    Need to work out problems with restrictions and burn bans

b.                   Open burning is a state issue and is not addressed in the NR restrictions and ban guidelines

c.                    Education is a key element in dealing with local people


B.                   Training Committee

1.                    John Christianson passed out information

a.                    Needs Analysis for ND Zone

(1)                 Agencies need to fill the positions that they requested so that classes are full

b.                   Needs Analysis for NR

(1)                 Allocations will probably be sent in April and everyone will be notified at this time

(2)                 Submit more nominations than you are allocated for, in case there are cancellations

2.                    ND agencies will only send individuals to NR classes that are at the 300 level or above

3.                    Do we need to have a different process for scheduling training in ND?

a.                    A couple classes were cancelled this year because people did not send in nominations (Gary Lindsay)

b.                   All agencies need to meet (Shane Del Grosso)

(1)                 Discuss needs

(2)                 Assign courses to each agency and set up a schedule to be distributed

(3)                 SD is using this process right now and it works well

4.                    Need to have representation from each agency on the training committee- people are not attending meetings

5.                    Suggestions for representatives

a.                    NPS (Beth Card)

b.                   BLM

c.                    BIA (Lee Schmock)

d.                   USFS (Dave Crousser)

e.                    FWS (Rick Willoughby)

f.                     NDG&F (Randy Littlefield)

g.                   NDS or RFD (from each zone) (Dave Geyer and John Christianson)                         

6.                    All agencies need to be represented at each training committee meeting in order to get things done- everyone needs to communicate better          

7.                    Good idea for all agency FMOs to attend at least one meeting to see what the committee is about

8.                     Devils Lake Training Facility (Gary Lindsay)

a.                    Old buildings are in danger of being flooded

b.                   New building is being funded

(1)                 Would be very useful for fire training

(2)                 May be two years before this is up and running

(3)                 May have camping facilities available to house students

9.                    May be able to set up a training academy type program in ND (Mike Dannenberg)

a.                    Works well for students and instructors

b.                   Training Committee should look into setting this up

10.                 Agencies need to coordinate better when scheduling classes so that people can attend and agencies do not overlap each other

11.                 Instructors in ND are limited and firefighters are seasonal employees, so this may cause problems with a training academy (Dave Walker)

12.                 This fall may be a good time to identify courses and assign to agencies (Maure Sand)

13.                 Have a calendar set up and distributed to each agency after a fall meeting

14.                 Should look at needs today and get a start on what courses are needed (Dave Walker)

15.                 ND can submit names with their needs analysis in order to get stations to stick to their numbers (Maure Sand)

16.                 S-270, S-131, S-205, S-230/S-231, S-290 could be taught at Devils Lake from June 15 to July 15 and S-200/201 will be held in December 2002

17.                 S-216, I-200, S-212, S-130/190 (April and June) are being taught by NDS

18.                 Would like to have a ND training schedule by October 1, 2002 (John Christianson)

19.                 Training Committee may need to call people and check on progress in order to get things accomplished (Mike Santucci)

20.                 Training Committee Meetings are in February and October each year- there is not a lot of time commitment involved

C.                   Andy Randall

1.                    Handout- proposed 2002-2003 NRTC Curriculum

a.                    Use this as a guide and refer to the numbers you submitted on the needs analysis when submitting nominations

b.                   If people do not stick to their numbers from needs analysis, classes do not get filled

2.                    S-390 has been turned over to the zones to conduct, NR will no longer teach this

3.                    M-410  has mixed reviews (suggested that you limit class size to 18)

4.                    S-490

a.                    We (ND) have needs, but people are failing the prework and the class

b.                   Need to know BEHAVE before attending

c.                    FWS is having problem meeting NRTC requirements (Gary Lindsay)- need to look into this

5.                    Taskbook Modules, PMS 316

a.                    Andy has more info on this

b.                   On web- NRCG page

6.                    NRTC is discussing changing the current funding system- contact Andy for more information/contacts

7.                    Helena College of Technology (MT University System)

a.                    Work with Central MT Zone training

b.                   Working on offering an associates degree in wildland fire

c.                    Will be NWCG courses

d.                   Andy will send information to everyone

8.                    Training Contractors

a.                    If you know someone (private person), you can set up an MOU for them to host training

b.                   Contact Andy for more information/references

9.                    The new IHOG is available

10.                 310-1 conflicts with IHOG, but IHOG is correct

11.                 Interactive S-290 course was conducted

a.                    Hosted by Billings Zone

b.                   Went pretty well for the first time

c.                    Agencies saved large amounts of money on travel and per diem

d.                   Each satellite site needed a qualified instructor present in case mechanical problems occurred

e.                    S-290 slides are now on CD (Jean Claybo)

f.                     Jean Claybo (Billings Dispatch) has more information on the interactive class

12.                 Equipment Inspectors Workshop

a.                    Nominations due March 22, 2002

b.                   John Christianson and Rick Willoughby are attending

13.                 Back to Basics Workshop

a.                    If you didn’t get an agenda and want one, talk to Andy

b.                   This is a review of S-260

c.                    Looking at the end of May (29th) for ND

d.                   Send your list of people to NDC

e.                    Andy will check on more concrete dates and locations

(1)                 Maure would like to suggest Bismarck as the location

D.                  Inspections Working Group

1.                    Inspectors Workshop is a good first step

2.                    Working Group still needs to work on issues dealing with equipment inspections


V.                   Meeting adjourned for today!





Spring Meeting

Wednesday, March 20, 2002



I.          Weather Service (Steve Stoll)              

A.        Recap of Fire Weather Meeting (Jerry Turner)

1.             Expect a more digital-type forecast next year

2.         Additional information on web site this year- check this before submitting spot-weather forecast

3.         Would like advanced notice for spot-weather forecasts if possible

4.         Information from Steve Stoll

B.         RAWS

1.         Priority is ND

2.         Transformation from phone to satellite

C.        RAWS

1.         NFDRS

a.         Greenness is not very reliable

(1)        Database is not very old

(2)        Reliability of data will increase with time- more data to work with

2.         Contact list for ND

a.         Chase Marshall- contact for northern ND

b.         Faron Krueger- contact for southern ND

c.         Will be giving ground-truth data to Steve

3.         Web page

a.         State of the fuels, Dakota Area

b.         Report process will be done once every two weeks

c.         Program will begin in mid-April

4.         Andy and Maure will be the key players in setting up the RAWS stations

a.         Steve would like 2 target stations

b.         Would like to run big timber fuel model G- program it in your RAWS

D.        Weather Software

1.         Fire Zones (NRCG Home Page)

a.         134 for Bismarck

b.         135 for Grand Forks

c.         Should the SW Grasslands be separate (Jerry Turner)?- yes

d.         Pick a zone on the web and you will get a detailed map with the RAWS stations and many links to choose from

2.         How will you identify our needs? (Dave Walker)

E.         National Program

1.         Takes all weather observations (Agriculture, NWS, RAWS, etc.)

2.         Monitored and updated every 5 minutes

3.         Accessible through the web

4.         Fire Weather Monitor- can enter desired parameters and the stations within those parameters will appear

5.         Precipitation Monitor

6.         November 15 is the expected start date for ND

7.         The NWS will continue their current role in ND fire weather, Steve will use their information and apply it in a different format for our use

F.         NR Weather Outlook

1.         Standardized Precipitation Index is a good monitor of drought conditions

2.         Looks to be dry and cool

G.        Moisture

1.         Mid-latitude (dominant force- lost in July)- not much lightning, but there is a chance of ignition because the moisture is lost over the Rockies

2.         Subtropical- brings lightning and small amounts of precipitation

3.         Monsoon- thunderstorms bring precipitation and a lower chance of ignition

H.        NWS staffing is limited, but more information will be provided to agencies as time goes on and as Steve works more with the NWS in ND

I.          Position/Role

1.         It is evolving

2.         Initial intent was to make resource decisions at the GACC level- prioritize resource locations

3.         Smoke management has become a big issue for the NR and Steve will be working on this

J.          Is there a need for a Fire Weather Committee? (Maure Sand)

1.         Identify trigger points

2.         Need to standardize methods

3.         NWS needs to be a part of this

4.         EC will discuss this tomorrow morning


II.         Rural Fire Departments

A.        State Fire School

1.         1,053 firefighters attended this year

2.         40 classes were offered

3.         77 people went through 130/190, 131, and standards classes

4.         There is continued interest in 130/190- it is important to teach these during this time

5.         Need for focus on ground safety- fire tactics course may be an idea (Dave Walker)

B.         Issue Paper (Mike Santucci)

1.         Allow RFD chiefs to issue and sign red cards for personnel up to the FFT1 level

2.         NDFS will certify single resource boss level and above through the establishment of an interagency review committee

3.         NDFC agreed to form an interagency review committee at the last spring meeting- agreed to this issue paper (Mike Santucci)

4.         Are the federal agencies going to be responsible for accidents? (Shane Del Grosso)

a.         May need to get some legal guidance

b.         SD has turned away from this procedure because of liability issues

c.         The NDFS is responsible for ensuring the RFD chiefs know the liability issues and responsibilities associated with signing red cards

d.         There may be problems, but good judgment will be used when certifying signing officials and this would be a good starting point for issuing red cards (Dave Walker)

e.         NDFS will require documentation before issuing red cards- they will work with each department to ensure safety

f.          How will the federal agencies know if the NDFS has approved the red card? (Shane Del Grosso)

(1)        Federal agencies should contact Mike Santucci if there are any questions

5.         Nobody has a problem with RFD chiefs issuing FFT2 red cards, but higher qualifications are questionable

6.         The RFD chiefs should attend training before issuing red cards (Gary Lindsay)

a.         The mentoring program was set up to deal with this issue (Maure Sand)

b.         Federal agencies do not go through a formal training system (Mike Santucci)

c.         Certify officials on a case-by-case basis (Beth Card)- communication is the key element

d.         Everyone is going to make some mistakes- it happens within the federal agencies too

7.         RFD chiefs may change, so maybe an individual should be certified (Ray Lambert)

8.         The RFDs have just as much experience with wildland grass fires as federal agencies and are concerned about liability issues too (John Christianson)

9.         Case by case basis is the key, but should the burden of certifying officials be shared as an interagency committee?

10.       It is decided that officials will be certified on a case-by-case and the level of certification will be set on a case-by-case basis


III.       Contractor Association Issues (Bob Bell)

A.        Attended a meeting in Helena to consider forming a new organization of private Wildland Fire Contractors

B.         Bob is one of the founding directors

C.        Bob represents ND and the Billings and Miles City dispatch areas

D.        Contractor equipment will be inspected

E.         Equipment inspectors will be trained according to standards- NDFC will work with Bob on this

F.         Working towards a MOU regarding red cards

G.        Trying to set up a method for fair dispatching- set up a rotation schedule

H.        Self-dispatching is not allowed

I.          There is an alternate yellow card, but this does not work in other regions- need to have red cards

J.          Training schedule is important information for the contractors to have access to

K.        Bob is working on a web site and will let everyone know when this is available

L.         Rates of hire need to be agreed upon

M.        Universal standards are important when certifying equipment and personnel

N.        “White card” is a method of showing that a person has had some training, but is not red card qualified- they are issued by the MLA or the training officials (Andy Randall)

O.        Where do contractors get their red cards- who can issue them?

1.         NDS will ensure the contractors are qualified and ready to be dispatched

P.         Beth would be interested in some assistance- Bob will be ready in early April

Q.        EERAs cannot be used for prescribed fire, so agencies will need to set up a separate contract (Andy Randall)

1.         Each agency will need to look into their procedure for contracting

2.         Do not hire contractors for prescribed burning until things are worked out                     

R.         Bob knows a local spray contractor that is interested in using his airplanes

1.         This is a separate issue

2.         Gary Lindsay will assist Bob with getting this process started


IV.       Jurisdictional Boundaries (Ray Lambert)

A.        Ray works for a state agency, but is not a representative for the fire service

B.         Concerns

1.         Fires start (or are started) on one persons land and spread to another’s- who has jurisdiction for responding to and extinguishing the fires and who pays the bills?

a.         BLM set up contracts with local RFDs last year to reimburse the departments for fire suppression (Maure Sand)

b.         Gary Lindsay would like to set up Mutual Aid

c.         Dave Walker would like to see a committee or separate meeting to resolve this issue because it is a big problem

d.         Ray Lambert would like to be involved with this process

e.         Who else would be interested in resolving this issue?

f.          BOR does pay firefighters on lands where full taxes are not being paid (Walt Fairbanks)

V.        DEM (Janell Quinlan, Kathleen Donahue, & Doug Fiez)

A.        Homeland Security & the Interagency Community (Doug Friez)

1.         DEM is also interested in working with jurisdictional issues and working as an interagency group

2.         We may encounter more human-caused, intentional fires during this fire season

a.         DEM will watch the neighborhood (dams, capital, schools, Civic Centers, etc.)- everyone needs to help

b.         Everyone needs to work together to prevent this

c.         We need to secure buildings, vehicles, etc.

d.         Report suspicious activities

B.         State Emergency Operations Plan (Kathleen Donahue)

1.         DEM assists with preparedness, response, recovery, and mitigation

2.         DEM’s Responsibilities

a.         Coordinate disaster-related efforts with local, state, federal, tribal, private agencies

b.         Maintain a current Emergency Operations Plan

c.         Provide 24-hour, 365-day response

d.         Manage the State Emergency Operations Center

3.         2001 ND Emergency Operations Plan- distributed to everyone

4.         How does reimbursement work for disasters other than fire? (Maure Sand)

a.         It depends upon how it is activated (Janell Quinlan)

b.         It will be sorted out as time goes on and we work with this more (Doug Friez)

5.         Janell Quinlan will send updated version of ND Emergency Operations Plan to NDC when it is available

6.         We (NDC) need to notify the DEM when large fires/disasters occur in ND, so they can decide if they need to respond when they get calls from the public

7.         Need more discussion on planning and engaging state resources- how does the system work? (Dave Walker)

8.         Contact DEM and they will find available state resources for you, if you cannot contact Mike Santucci

9.         May be able to use the Elkhorn Fire as an example for how things are done/should be done (Maure Sand)

VI.       Zone Training

A.        Aviation Training/Refresher

1.         It is now on the web

2.         Contact Gary Lindsay for more information on setting up a class

B.         Fire Sciences Academy (Mike Santucci)

1.         Looking at offering it at Devils Lake Technical College

2.         There are no details right now, but is the NDFC interested in supporting something like this? 

3.         It would be NWCG sanctioned

4.         United Tribes in Bismarck is also looking at something like this (Maure Sand)

5.         John Christianson and Rick Willoughby were wondering about using MSU-Bottineau

6.         There is an issue with getting experience- people can be given a degree, but they need experience to sign off taskbooks

7.         The NDFC would like to support this idea- focus on giving people a basic education that would help them work in the fire environment

8.         Taskbooks would be signed off in the field- not in the classroom

9.         Maybe we could train for wildland and structure at the same time (Maure Sand)

10.       Mike will see where we (NDFC) can go with this

VII.      EERA/Inspections (Dave Geyer)

A.        Would like to work together to train local people that could serve ND

B.         Maure will be sending some people to the Equipment Inspectors Workshop, along with John Christianson and Rick Willoughby

C.        Contractors are also welcome to attend the workshop and could be contracted to inspect equipment

D.        RFDs are going to be the biggest workload in ND

E.         Andy and Dave Martin will work on more details concerning this issue

F.         We need to remember that many of the RFD engines will not be going out of state, but those that are need to have all the equipment necessary to function on a wildfire

G.        1 ton and over vehicles need a DOT inspection (Bob Bell)

H.        Even after the DOT inspection, they need to meet the NWCG standards

VIII.     MOU (Dave Martin)

A.        Walt Fairbanks and Dave Martin would like to work together to accomplish some burns

B.         Next year may be a more realistic target for this project

C.        Will get this MOU in the Mob Guide

IX.       Rx Burning

A.        Smokejumper Support (Dave Walker & Maure Sand)

1.         USDI and USDA are two different entities and rules are different

2.         There will be no cross-billing

3.         Dave Walker is working on getting support from smokejumpers- things are on hold right now

4.         Smokejumpers have highly qualified people and they are able to write burn plans and instruct numerous courses (Maure Sand)

5.         Smokejumpers are looking for assignments until their fire seasons begin

6.         USFS has used smokejumpers in the past and feel they are a good asset

7.         USFS pays for per diem and travel because the smokejumpers are USDA employees

8.         It would be nice to use these individuals around the state- as an interagency tool

9.         If used as interagency tool, Maure may end up paying the bill to prevent cross-billing

10.       Maure will look into funding so he does not have to budget for all of the expenses

11.       BLM firefighters in MT are willing to assist with ND burning

a.         Would be a good training opportunity for them

b.         BLM would foot the bill

B.         Coordination and cooperation of agencies within ND (Maure Sand)

1.         Right now, each agency has their own targets

2.         We should help each other accomplish goals

a.         Each agency could present their acres and then we could prioritize the burns according to the current year

b.         We have a common goal, but we are not working together

c.         We would need to present an issue paper to the “higher authorities”

3.         We need to focus on utilizing the NDC to share resources (Dave Walker)

4.         Maure will forward fire information to the NDC and they will distribute to the DOI- a lot of information is not distributed to all agencies (Dave Walker)

5.         With interagency cooperation, we may be able to burn larger pieces of land- which is how things happened naturally in the past (Maure Sand)

6.         Maure/Mike Santucci will give a copy of the GAO report to everyone

C.        Contingency Planning (Maure Sand)

1.         NPS needs to have contingency resources on site

a.         May be able to use other NPS resources from different regions

b.         ND resources may not be available during good burn windows- everyone will be burning

2.         USFS and FWS need to make sure their contingency resources are available, but they do not need to be on site during the burn

D.        Smoke Management, Burns Plans, WRAP Status (Chuck McDonald/Dana Mount)

1.         ND’s smoke management program is very minimal

2.         Don’t usually get involved with agricultural burning

3.         Regional Haze Program- handout

a.         TRP and Lostwood NWR are Class I Federal Areas in ND- Indian Reservations can be classified as Class I Areas, but are not required to do so (none are in ND)

b.         Every state has to have a regional haze plan

c.         ND is a member of the WRAP (Western Regional Air Partnership)

d.         SIP (State Implementation Plan) must be completed by 2008, the revision is due in 2018 and every 10 years thereafter

e.         Goal is to achieve natural visibility conditions in 60 years (2064)

f.          Deciview- uniform perceived incremental changes in haziness

g.         BART-Eligible Sources (Best Available Retrofit Technology)- power plants, coal gasification, refineries

h.         Must review progress every 5 years and revise plan if needed                                       

i.          Fire Emissions

(1)        WRAP has a Fire Emissions Joint Forum that works to develop solutions to this problem

(2)        Smoke Management Programs (SMPs)

(3)        Basic SMP and enhanced SMP will be available

(4)        Alternatives to Burning documents are available on the web

(5)        There is a policy for determining if a prescribed burn is considered natural or man-made

j.          WRAP Website:  www.wrapair.org

4.         Dana Mount:  701-328-5202, dmount@state.nd.us, ND Department of Health, 1200 Missouri Avenue, Bismarck, ND  58506-5520

5.         The year 2002 is the base year for emission data for ND

6.         Division of Air Quality Prescribed Burning Summary

a.         Indicate actual acres burned, location, and estimated loading (tons/acres) on this form at the end of the burning season and return it to the Dept. of Health

b.         May need more guidance on estimate loading so there is a uniform reporting method (Dave Walker)- NDFC will look into this

7.         Air Monitors are located at the Painted Canyon at TRP and near the Lostwood NWR office

8.         More monitors will be set up in the near future and information will be available on the web

9.         Will we eventually be required to use a monitor at each burn? (Maure Sand)- probably not, because there is enough room for improvement in other air pollution areas (Dana Mount)

10.       Is there a penalty/fine if complaints are called into the Dept. of Health? (Beth Card)- there could be if things were not done correctly, but they don’t anticipate problems

11.       Who do we call when we do burns on high fire danger days? (Dave Walker)- let the Dept. of Health (Chuck McDonald) know so they can answer questions if the public calls them with concerns

12.       Department of Health would also like to be notified when a wildfire occurs so they can take that data into consideration

13.       NDC will check to see that the Department of Health link is on the NDC page

X.        Communications Working Group (Gary Lindsay)

A.        Color-coding frequencies

1.         We are going to narrow-band digital, so color-coding will be useful

2.         Lyle Gallagher thought this sounded interesting, but would like a proposal explaining the details

3.         Gary Lindsay  will work on the proposal to give to Lyle Gallagher

4.         Programming is a problem with the narrow-band radios (Beth Card)

XI.       30-Mile Fire Issues (Maure Sand)

A.        This is specific to FS, but will affect the other agencies

B.         The Regional Forester has given a list of guidelines to Maure- see handout (dated February 20, 2002)

C.        Maure will get a copy of the complexity analysis for Dave Walker

D.        Should develop common Fire Thresholds and includes them in the NDC Mob Guide

E.         If anyone knows of existing pocket cards or other information, please let Maure know

F.         FS data for pocket cards should be available from WIMS        

G.        Northern Rockies Web Page has a link to pocket cards (Andy Randall)

H.        We (ND) need to have a refresher for NFDRS (Dave Walker)

1.         Larry Bradshaw and Dave Carter may be candidates for instructors

2.         Would be nice to have training this spring

3.         Dave will try to set this up, but the EC will discuss this more tomorrow

I.          Maure would like to make this a zone project, but he has offered to do the work

1.         Dave Walker would like to be involved

2.         Maure will make copies of some information and distribute to the EC tomorrow

XII.      Fire Use Committee (Dave Walker)

A.        No activity to report

B.         Will Fire Use have any application in ND?  (Maure Sand)

1.         Dave Walker has more information on this

2.         There is no committee in ND, this is a NRCG committee- the NDFC EC will look more into issues associated with this

XIII.     Type III Team (Maure Sand)

A.        ND, SE MT, and NW SD are targets

B.         The point of the team is to have people in place to respond to incidents, but not prevent anyone from being dispatched to other incidents

C.        DPF is working on an internal organization to respond, if needed

D.        Need to get a list of qualified and interested individuals- nobody needs to commit to time frames right now, but we need to get a start (Dave Walker)

E.         We will discuss this more in the morning

XIV.    Executive Committee (Mike Santucci)

A.        AOP has been circulated for signatures

B.         Need to check on current status

C.        BIA had a problem with the AOP- need to contact Darrell Ausborn to find out more information

D.        Would like everyone to share opinions/ideas with the EC throughout the year- do not limit to the 2 meetings NDFC holds each year

XV.      NDC Report

A.        Status of Mob Guide

1.         We will wait until the National and NR Mob Guide come out before we send ours out

2.         We will make a list of pages where there have been changes

B.         Weekly Fire Report Procedure

1.         Andy is working with Angie to see if there is a better procedure that would cut down on the number of reports

C.        Procedure for mobilizing resources- same

D.        Distribution of updated manuals

1.         Each agency will get their own Natioinal Mob Guides- (it is available on the web too)

2.         IBMH

a.         Blue pages- if you get some, let everyone else know and Andy will check into this more

3.         NR Mob Guide will be sent out on disk and NDC can make copies of this for those who are interested

4.         Dave Walker would like a copy of the Billings Mob Guide and NR

5.         NFES catalogs can be ordered from Boise

E.         ROSS

1.         Will be doing availability June 1, 2002

2.         Will be filling resource orders July 1, 2002 (using this process, only)

3.         Andy will send more information to Maure about what is needed for ROSS inputs

4.         NPS info can be “sucked” into ROSS

5.         NDS information will be entered as we go

6.         Availability will be managed at NDC for now- may change at a later date

7.         The plan is to train the NDC staff and any other interested parties

8.         ROSS Training is in Billings- Andy will check on dates

F.         Will need to fill a seasonal position

G.        Expectations for preparedness details (Dave Walker)

1.         Line up the people and details

2.         Fill out a detail request and send to NDC

3.         NDC will send it through the dispatch system

4.         SRA may be a possibility (Maure Sand)

H.        Beth would like some information on meal specifications- individuals can be responsible for their own lunches (Maure Sand)


XVI.    Meeting Adjourned!!



Spring Meeting

Thursday, March 21, 2002


XVII.     Attendance

A.        Mike Santucci

B.         Maure Sand

C.        Dave Geyer

D.        Dave Walker

E.         John Christianson

F.         Andy Randall

G.        Beth Card


XVIII.  Review of NDFC Meeting

A.        Issues

1.         Steve Stoll/RAWS/NFDRS

2.         Jurisdictional Issues

3.         Homeland Security

4.         Elkhorn Case Study

5.         Rx Burn Coordination- Issue Paper

6.         Fuels Model for DOH- common methods

7.         30-Mile Recommendations

8.         NDC Contingency Plans- if problems occur again

9.         WUI Coordination (Dave Walker)

B.         Dave Walker would like to revisit empowering RFD Chiefs/NDS Issue Paper

C.        Good to hold the EC meeting after the full NDFC meeting, instead of before

D.        Should we allow two days for the next NDFC meeting or is 1 1/2 days enough? (Mike Santucci)

1.         The ND Zone is fairly new and we have a lot of issues to deal with yet, so there will be frustrations (Dave Walker)

2.         The meeting went well and more time for discussion is good- if there is discussion, that means that there is a real issue to deal with

3.         Working Groups need to do a better job of letting people know when meetings are and send out minutes from each meeting so that people know what is going on

4.         Would like more representation from the BIA- Mike Santucci will contact Darrell Ausborn and John Christianson will talk with Joe Alberts, Jim Hamley, and Frank Chase

E.         Mike Santucci would like to discuss Working Groups later today


XIX.    Steve Stoll/Raws/NFDRS

A.        It is critical to stay in contact with Steve and work with him to get things done

B.         We (ND) need to educate ourselves on NFDRS so that we understand what we need do to (Dave Walker)- Maure Sand and Dave Walker will work on this

C.        There may be an opportunity to have Steve come back (Mike Santucci)

D.        We need to identify target stations for Steve to use

E.         Steve is planning to work with the NWS so they can do more for our fire programs

F.         Chase and Faron need more information/guidance for working with Steve- they will contact Steve and ask what he would like them to do

G.        Chase and Faron will work as interagency representatives


XX.      State Fire School

1.          The State Fire School should be available to all agencies, including federal non-fire agencies

2.         Agencies can join the NDFA and pay the fee to attend classes (Beth Card)

3.         Mike Santucci will contact Lois Hartman to discuss regional school and all-risk classes/State Fire School- see who can attend


XXI.    Jurisdictional Issues

A.        Could we set up a meeting to discuss cooperation with RFDs? (Mike Santucci)

B.         NPS and USFS cooperation with VFDs

1.         USFS

a.         VFDs got 2 cents per acre for fire protection

b.         Federal agencies cannot handle all of the IA, so they need to contract with RFDs in order to pay them

c.         USFS is going to negotiate rates with their RFDs, but would like to make sure they are “in line” with everyone else

2.         NPS

a.         Agreements are in place to pay RFDs according to rates in the agreement

b.         The NPS is paying the RFDs for IA because they do not have the resources right now

3.         Whose jurisdiction are they (RFDs) doing IA on? (Dave Walker)

a.         It is shared jurisdiction, but the USFS is trying to compensate because the costs really add up (Maure Sand)

b.         NPS has the jurisdictional responsibility, but no resources, so they compensate the RFDs (Beth Card)

c.         USFWS has more resources for IA and the jurisdiction is shared, but the USFWS does not compensate for IA    (Dave Walker)

C.        Would like to plan a day-long informational meeting for all agencies to bring each other up-to-speed with how things are working- Mike will coordinate this meeting (ND Fire Marshall, DEM, USFWS, NDG&F, COE, BOR, USFS, NDS, NPS, BIA)

1.         Ask agency administers to consider other participants

2.         Dave Walker will contact Solicitor General to attend

3.         COE has a new contact


XXII.   Elkhorn Case Study

A.        Will use the jurisdictional meeting to discuss this issue


XXIII.  Mike Santucci presented the letter that accompanied the AOP that was routed for signatures- Mike will track down the status and location of the AOP


XXIV.  Rx Burn Coordination- Issue Paper

A.        Review of GAO Report

B.         Items from the GAO can be used to support an issue paper for interagency cooperation and zone goals

C.        Agencies would need to communicate and work together- it would not just involve fire personnel, but biological staff as well

D.        Andy Schollet could act as an advisor (Maure Sand)

E.         Beth needs to check on how things would work- support actions would not count for much in her budget

F.         USFWS has the same situation- budgeting is based upon burn accomplishments from the previous year

G.        We may be able to look at budgets as an interagency group as well- some stations may get less money and some would get more, depending upon the year

H.        We need to be able to prove a desirable outcome and show that this is not just a fire issue, but it will improve habitat/resources in ND as well (Maure Sand)

I.          We need to incorporate WUI projects too (Dave Walker)

J.          Mike Santucci and Maure Sand will work on an Issue Paper and then each agency can present it to their respective authorities


XXV.   WUI Coordination (Dave Walker)

A.        Information and Education (I & E) process has begun- will discuss this more during Prevention discussion

B.         We (EC) need to fill the role of an advisory committee to prioritize projects, deal with funding, etc. (Dave Walker)

C.        There is state money to assist with burns on private land so that federal WUI projects can incorporate adjacent private lands (Mike Santucci)

D.        NDS might have problems with concentrating money in one area of ND, but they could offer personnel support with projects (Mike Santucci)

E.         USFWS projects are locked in for this year, but DaveWalker would like to pursue this idea for future years

F.         Dave Walker will set up a WUI informational meeting to be held before July 1, 2002


XXVI.  Fuel Model for DOH (Dave Walker)

A.        It would make sense for all agencies to use a common method for calculating loading (tons/acre)

B.         We should compare different methods and decide upon one method- Dave may have a good method and he will share it with the other agencies in October, 2002


XXVII.            30-Mile Recommendations (Maure Sand)

A.        Handouts (Complexity Analysis, 30-Mile Accident Prevention Plan, Transition Fire Guide, Draft paper for the Association)

B.         Pocket Guides

1.         Could do one for different parts of the state, but need to be careful because the information might be site specific

2.         Need to check with Fire Science Lab people- Maure will do this

3.         Maure will make a call to Larry Bradshaw to see what his feelings are before making any pocket guides

C.        Thresholds/Trigger Points

1.         Need to develop common thresholds/trigger points and include them in an Interagency AOP (Dave Walker)

2.         Agencies need to do more research and come back to discuss this issue at a later date

D.        Maure will review the 30-Mile information and send out a list of things that can be addressed as an interagency community


XXVIII.           NDC Contingency Plan

A.        Should have a plan in the case that email/internet capabilities fail again

B.         The plan should address the current situation and future problems

C.        All dispatch centers are urged to work on this, but there is not a deadline set (Andy Randall)

D.        Would like to see a plan in place and put it in the NDC Mob Guide

E.         EOC may be a good place for a temporary location

F.         NDC will work on this and present it at the fall meeting


XXIX.  RFD Empowerment (Dave Walker)

A.        Would like a little more clarification on the current process

1.         RFDs need to meet all requirements in 310-1

2.         Mentoring is a building block- should be at least a three-year process including training and experience

3.         Taskbooks are used

B.         How are you (NDS) prepared to deal with liability issues and what are the ramifications that would affect the NDFC?

1.         Empowering the RFD chiefs will make them responsible for liability issues

2.         NDS will still be in charge of the red card system and will provide assistance during the entire process

3.         NDS will make sure that the certified RFD chiefs are qualified and responsible

4.         Expectations of RFDs need to be included in cooperating agreements

5.         The local hosting unit has the responsibility of signing red cards (from 310-1, page 5)- NDS would like to transfer this responsibility to the RFD

6.         The home unit is the unit that employees the individual (310-1, page A-5)

7.         The certifying parties need to be given a current copy of 310-1 (Dave Walker)


XXX.   Working Groups

A.        We need to take a better look at the makeup of the committees and working groups

B.         Agencies need better participation

C.        We can include more individuals and ease the load on some people- use this as a mentoring process

D.        Prevention Committee

1.         Restrictions Training     

a.         Mike Dannenberg offered to send a BLM representative to do a train-the-trainer session

b.         Could send county DEM representative to MT training (Dave Walker)

c.         Restrictions are geared towards public awareness

d.         Need to locate and distribute NR restrictions guidelines to NDFC (Mike Santucci/Dave Geyer)

e.         Obtain restrictions information from all ND agencies (NDS, USFWS, NPS, BLM, BIA, BOR, CORPS)- this is tasked to Dave Geyer and Mike Santucci will discuss this with him

f.          More discussion will occur when agency information is compiled

2.         I & E Project

a.         Distribution of grates

(1)        Maybe a county fire department can apply for a grant to purchase grates

(2)        BIA may be able to contribute

b.         Fire Danger Signs

(1)        RFA money can pay for this next year (Mike Santucci)

E.         Training Committee

1.         Need active participation from all agencies

2.         Training schedule

a.         Put a calendar together at the fall meeting

b.         Use the needs analysis as a guide

c.         Split the courses up among the agencies and you can teach additional courses if you want

d.         We need to set a deadline for scheduling classes so that people are aware that they are going to occur

3.         Meeting notes need to be distributed to everyone

4.         Would like to schedule similar classes during the same time frame and at the same location so that people can attend

5.         Good idea to assign names when filling out needs analysis, so that agencies do not back out of classes- needs analysis numbers need to match the number of nominations submitted

6.         The needs analysis numbers will be distributed to everyone so that they remember what they submitted earlier that year             

7.         NDFS will try to host one class a month- would like this to be an interagency project

8.         May be able to have a temporary schedule of classes and dates at the beginning of year (Dave Geyer)

9.         Needs/RFD Integration

10.       Information dissemination- very important

11.       Paul Chamberlain training feedback

12.       April 24, 2002 has been left open for a Standards course if there is interest- contact Dave Walker

a.         Pack Test and S-216 will be hosted at the same time

F.         Inspections Working Group

1.         Contact Rick Willoughby to see if he is interested in this

2.         Would be nice to set up a training after the ND individuals attend the Equipment Inspector’s Workshop

G.        Communications Working Group

1.         Gary Lindsay is writing a “white paper”

a.         Gary needs to send draft paper to members of the communication working group and then it will be shared with the EC

H.        Type III Team Working Group

1.         Need to produce a list of qualified and interested individuals- Dave Walker will write a letter and distribute to the field

2.         Send all information concerning this issue to Dave Walker

3.         Need to establish trigger points for team availability

4.         Dave will write a draft and send to EC for review before mailing


XXXI.  Lostwood WUI Project (Dave Walker)

A.        Cannot use WUI money on federal lands that are not immediately adjacent to private lands

B.         Want to use 9264 (WUI) funds to pile fuels and burn an aspen stand next to the refuge headquarters- need approval from state board to see if this is a beneficial project

C.        Could you use this project as an I & E project? (Mike Santucci)

D.        This project was established before the current WUI guidelines were distributed and now Dave is going to be held accountable for 10 WUI acres that do not fit into the current guidelines

E.         The board is aware of the situation and are in agreement that Dave can go ahead with this WUI project


XXXII.            Meeting Adjourned!