BLM Transfers Fire Engine to the Andrews Rangeland Fire Protection Association
Hines, Ore. – The Bureau of Land Management recently completed the transfer of a wildland fire engine to the Fields-Andrews Rangeland Fire Protection Association (RFPA) in Harney County. On Monday, August 12, the keys and ownership of a 2011 Ford F550 were handed over to John Williams, Fields-Andrews RFPA President, and Andrew Kromm, Fields-Andrews RFPA board member, to enhance their wildland firefighting capabilities. The engine will be stationed near Fields, Oregon, and available for some 44 trained firefighters in the RFPA to serve approximately 120 rural landowners within their District.
RFPAs are private, non-profit organizations established to help prevent and suppress fires on unprotected lands – those without federal or state jurisdiction. They represent a collaborative effort among local private landowners, the Bureau of Land Management and the Oregon Department of Forestry and are essentially “neighbors helping neighbors.” Cooperative partnerships between the BLM and local and rural fire departments, including RFPAs, are crucial to remote wildfire response.
John Williams, Fields-Andrews RFPA President said, “Our relationships have grown so well, and all in the right direction. This is the best of the cooperation that we have built over the last twenty years.”
The engine was transferred under BLM’s new Rural Fire Readiness (RFR) program, which is designed to provide equipment, vehicles, training and supplies to local wildland firefighting partners at no cost.
Burns Interagency Fire Zone RFPA Liaison Jacob Gear said, “This program has allowed the BLM to more strongly invest financially in our cooperators and continue to build on these valuable partnerships.”
Under the RFR program, the Burns Interagency Fire Zone has conducted seven trainings in Harney County this year alone, and, in conjunction with the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge, distributed over 150 radios, personal protective gear, and various other equipment.
To submit an application for goods and services through the RFR program, local fire departments and RFPAs must meet a number of requirements:
- Have an existing cooperative fire response agreement with the BLM;
- Serve a rural community or area;
- Have wildland fire protection responsibilities; and
- Be in close proximity to BLM-administered lands and respond to wildland fires in support of BLM when available and as needed
For information on the BLM’s RFR program, call Brent Meisinger at (541) 219-6031, or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
The BLM manages more than 245 million acres of public land located primarily in 12 western states, including Alaska, on behalf of the American people. The BLM also administers 700 million acres of sub-surface mineral estate throughout the nation. Our mission is to sustain the health, diversity, and productivity of America’s public lands for the use and enjoyment of present and future generations.