OR Fire Managers Receive Advanced Training for Complex Incidents

File Photo of the Naylox Fire, August 2018 (Brian Gailey)

SALEM, Ore. -- Fire managers in Oregon will be better prepared to manage complex wildfires in the coming fire season thanks to additional training some received recently. The Oregon Department of Forestry, Office of the Oregon State Fire Marshal and Coos Forest Protective Association sent a combined group of seven employees to six days of complex incident management training sponsored by the National Association of State Foresters.

The Complex Incident Management Course (CMIC) is a national training program that addresses multi-jurisdictional and all-hazard issues, including wildfire, that confront state emergency responders.

The course trains people in command staff positions to function as qualified state incident management teams. These teams are able to assist their state forestry organizations and state emergency departments to manage the unique challenges of large or highly complex wildfires and other hazardous incidents.

The Oregon Department of Forestry's Eastern Oregon Area Director Travis Medema is on the Steering Committee for CIMC. "ODF has been involved in this training since it started more than 15 years ago. It is the highest level of training an individual can receive in how to be prepared to manage complex incidents, not only wildfires but a wide range of other hazards also," said Medema. "As part of the national system for wildfire protection, ODF works with partners throughout Oregon and around the country to manage wildfires. Advanced training at the national level is an investment Oregon is making to ensure we are as ready as possible to keep people and natural resources safe during wildfires and other hazardous incidents."

"For the first time, ODF and the OSFM sent a combined team to this very important training," said Chief Deputy State Fire Marshal Mariana Ruiz-Temple. "Their experiences and relationships built during this training is what makes them successful in the field. The feedback our office received from the CIMC training staff was that our Oregon team operated at the highest level. I am proud of what this group accomplished and know that their lessons learned during this week of training will continue to protect natural resources and communities in Oregon."

Participants from OSFM were Incident Commander Ian Yocum, Operations Chief Alex Haven and Plans Section Chief Shane Wooten.

ODF sent four staff to the training -- Deanna Drinkwater from Lakeview, Jamie Knight from La Grande, Steve Wilson from Lyons and Brian Pew from Salem. Brett Weidmiller from the Coos Forest Protective Association in southwest Oregon also attended.

Press release from Oregon Department of Forestry and the Oregon State Fire Marshal.