Associated Oregon Loggers, Inc.
2015 Madrona Avenue, Salem, OR

Welcome to the Associated Oregon Loggers

Associated Oregon Loggers, Inc. (AOL) is the statewide trade association representing some 1,000 member companies engaged in the harvest and sustainable forest management of Oregon’s 30 million acres of forestland. “Logger and Proud of It!”

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Industrial Fire Rule Changes in July

By Rex Storm

 

Revised industrial forest fire precaution regulations are scheduled to be in effect for the 2017 fire season—effective July 1st.  Forest contractors should this month determine changes needed in their fire equipment and crew training, to be prepared for the changes in place announced by the Oregon Dept. of Forestry (ODF).  At press time, ODF has promised thorough outreach to forest operators and landowners about these imminent fire precaution changes.

 

The new industrial fire rules will only be applicable on state-protected forestlands—which includes private forestlands, state & county forests, and BLM Western OR forests.  The new changes will not affect national forests managed by the US Forest Service.  Forest operations on state-protected forestlands—administered by Oregon Dept. of Forestry (also Coos FPA, Douglas FPA, and Walker Range FPA) will be subject to upgraded Oregon’s industrial forest fire prevention regulations.

 

There are two categories of 2017 industrial fire rule changes for state-protected forestlands (not Forest Service):

1.     Oregon rules for industrial fire prevention precautions – water supply, tools, firewatch, and so forth

2.     IFPL shutdowns in western Oregon (Industrial Fire Precaution Levels)

 

ODF and fire patrol associations plan to implement these upgrades July 1st—with communication to forest contract operators and landowners, beginning in May & June.  Agencies will issue updated written and online information, and present the changes during the agency’s spring operator meetings.  ODF will issue two new written communication tools: 1) new fire precautions booklet; and 2) new yellow-colored IFPL card.  AOL will publish monthly updates in the AOL Mainline.

 

Information about the new industrial fire rules is available at your local ODF/Fire Patrol office, or online at: www.oregon.gov/ODF/Fire/Pages/Restrictions.aspx

 

1.     Precaution Rule Refinement:

ü  Added dry fire hose length available on fire truck**; and sufficient to reach day’s operating area for equipment; no change in water supply/tank volume

** For distant skidding and bunching; contractors should seek extra local coordination during 2017 fire season

ü  Add 115 psi pump output equivalent (or current same 20 gpm)

ü  5# extinguisher: same as OR-OSHA

ü  Water supply: clarify its required 1st-day

ü  Reduce fire tool number for small crews

ü  Water supply not needed for self-loader trucking

ü  Firewatch firefighting alone: clarify to be same as OR-OSHA

 

2.     IFPL 2 Shutdown Reforms:

ü  Rotary saw operates before 1pm

3.     IFPL 3 Shutdown Reforms:

ü  Cable/motorized carriage operates before 1pm

ü  Feller buncher (non-rotary bar saw) operates before 1pm, with added fireline-capable machine available on-site

ü  Rotary saw operates before 1pm, with added observer and fireline-capable machine available on-site

ü  Power saw operates before 1pm, on ground-based operations with added fireline-capable machine

4.     Eastside IFPL – No change in IFPL here; applicable to federal only

 

The proposed rules will increase requirements in some areas, while reducing requirements in other areas. Effected rules include changes to water supply and delivery, fire tools and extinguishers, Watchman (Firewatch) Service, operation area prevention and power saws.

·       Water Supply: Increase requirement from minimum of 500 feet of hose to "enough hose" to reach areas worked that day. The proposal also eliminates the water supply requirement when the only activity remaining is for self-loading, as long as the self-loading of trucks is done in a clear area free of flammable vegetation.

 

·       Fire tools and extinguishers: Increase requirement from 2 1/2 lb. ABC fire extinguisher to 2A:10BC (5 lb.) extinguisher to bring into alignment with OR-OSHA rules. Fire extinguishers will also be required to have a pressure gauge or other measurement of the contents of the extinguisher. The proposal would also reduce the fire tools requirement for operations of four or less workers, still requiring a shovel and fire extinguisher, but eliminating the need for a fire tools box.

 

·       Other changes include requiring that battery shut-off switches be used on equipment when the operation shuts down or moving the equipment to an area free of flammable vegetation; and power saws for non-industrial operations must meet the same requirements as those of industrial operations.

 

The rule upgrades are a product of three years of work to modernize regulations by the 13-person advisory group ‘Industrial Fire Rule Review Committee’, which included logger and AOL participation.  AOL has long advocated for upgraded industrial forest fire regulations, but we are concerned about ODF’s slow outreach to communicate these critical changes.

 

Contractor 2017 implementation of these Rule changes will result in extra coordination and waiver discussion with local ODF fire staff and forest landowners.  Contractors should engage in preparing for these changes as soon as possible!

 

IFPL Fire Rules


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