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Dear Industry Partners,
From all of us within the Federal wildland fire community, we would like to express our appreciation for your willingness to step up and support us, especially in times like these. Due to the significant surge in inquiries we have received from industry in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, we are pleased to inform you that we have established a COVID-19 Wildland Fire Procurement & Program Response Team. This team is providing support to the USDA Forest Service and our Agency Cooperators in the review, vetting, and coordination of incoming COVID-19 wildland fire contract related questions. This team is comprised of individuals who bring expertise in the areas of procurement and wildland fire program on-site needs.
Most importantly at this time we ask that you continue to direct all inquiries to your respective Contracting Officer or designated Contracting Officer Representative. As these questions are received they are reviewed and referred to those team members who can best address them. The frequently asked question (FAQ) documents on this page will be posted, monitored, and updated.
US Forest Service Fire and Aviation Management is currently developing Wildland Fire Response Plans including best management practices for all geographic areas on how to respond to fire and help prevent the spread of the coronavirus this year. Once the plans are finalized and reviewed, any changes to VIPR agreements or National contract requirements will be appropriately communicated to contractors by the applicable Contracting Officers.
The COVID-19 Wildland Fire Procurement & Program Response Team is ensuring that all available procurement flexibilities and innovative approaches to meet the requirements for the 2020 Wildland Fire Season are thoroughly vetted and communicated with Area Commands, Incident Management Teams (IMTs), and Wildland Fire Program Offices. We thank you in advance for working with us as we formulate innovative solutions and continue to support the wildland fire community together.
In an effort to reduce risk and potential exposure for contractor employees to Coronavirus, the US Forest Service is providing I-BPA or VIPR vendors some adjustments to wildland fire preparedness training for the 2020 fire season. Specifically, vendors with VIPR agreements that require Work Capacity Test (WCT) and RT-130, Wildland Fire Safety Training Annual Refresher (WFSTAR) are provided options for training new and returning employees. Correspondence from US Forest Service Washington Office, Fire and Aviation Management (WO-FAM) directed to Regional Fire Contract Operations personnel can be found HERE
Several States have directed that individuals shelter at their place of residence except that they may leave to provide or receive certain essential services or engage in certain essential services and work for essential government services. Wildland firefighting is an essential US Forest Service function and I-BPA vendors should carry their identification and the document for U.S. Department of Agriculture Operations Allowed to Operate During Shelter in Residence when performing wildland firefighting functions.
See additional links below with valuable information relating to COVID-19: