The Vale District of the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) manages 5.1 million acres of public land in eastern Oregon. The district boundary runs along the Snake River between Oregon and Idaho and includes small sections of both Washington and Nevada.
The district includes three resource areas: Baker, Malheur, and Jordan. The Baker Field Office is located in Baker City and includes approximately a 1/2 million acres spanning eight counties. The southern half of the district is covered by the Malheur and Jordan Resource areas, which both operate out of the district's headquarters in Vale, Oregon.
Fire Programs : The Snake River Valley
The Snake River Valley (SRV) firefighting progam was developed at Vale, Oregon, by the Bureau of Land Managment in 1963. The severe fire season that year demonstrated a need for a well trained and organized firefighting force. For more than 40 years, the Vale SRV Fire Program has produced the largest trained group of Type II firefighters in the nation.
Historically, the crews have been more than 85 percent Hispanic, with courses often taught in both Spanish and English. The success of the program has led to an international partnership with the country of Mexico, and instructors from Mexico have participated in the SRV training camps and incorporated much of the training and operational information into their own national wildland firefighting program. This formal cooperation between our two countries has led to consistency in training as well as procedural and curriculum improvements for both countries.
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Resource Advisory Groups
The Vale District relies upon the important relationship it has built with its citizen advisory councils to help guide the way into the future for management of public lands. The Vale District Manager rotates responsibility as the Designated Federal Officer for both the John Day-Snake RAC (northern portion of the district) and the Southeast Oregon RAC (southern portion of the district). The DFO responsibilities rotate among Vale, Lakeview, Burns and Prineville District Managers, as well as Forest Supervisors for the John-Day Snake RAC. Currently the Vale District Manager is not serving as the DFO for either Council; however, he is still an active participant.