76.04.179  <<  76.04.181 >>   76.04.205

RCW 76.04.181

Maximizing the utilization of local fire suppression assets—Department's duty.

(1) To maximize the effective utilization of local fire suppression assets, the department is required to:
(a) Actively engage in ongoing prefire season outreach and recruitment of qualified wildland fire suppression contractors and equipment owners who have valid incident qualifications for the type of contracted work to be performed and compile and annually update a master list of the qualified contractors. In order to be included on a master list of qualified wildland fire suppression contractors:
(i) Contractors providing fire engines, tenders, crews, or similar resources must have training and qualifications sufficient for federal wildland fire contractor eligibility, including possessing a valid incident qualification card, commonly called a red card; and
(ii) Contractors other than those identified in (a)(i) of this subsection must have training and qualifications evidenced by possession of a valid department qualification and safety document, commonly called a blue card, issued to people cooperating with the department pursuant to an agreement;
(b) Provide timely advance notification of the dates and locations of department blue card training to all potential wildland fire suppression contractors known to the department and make the training available in several locations that are reasonably convenient for contractors;
(c) Organize the lists of qualified wildland fire suppression contractors to identify the counties where the contractors are located and make the lists, and the availability status of the contractors on the list, available to emergency dispatchers, county legislative authorities, emergency management departments, and local fire districts;
(d) Cooperate with federal wildland firefighting agencies to prioritize, based on predicted need, the efficient use of local resources in close proximity to wildland fire incidents, including local private wildland suppression contractors;
(e) Enter into preemptive agreements with landowners and other contractors in possession of firefighting capability that may be utilized in wildland fire suppression efforts, including the use of bulldozers, fallers, fuel tenders, potable water tenders, water sprayers, wash trailers, refrigeration units, and buses; and
(f) Conduct outreach to provide basic incident command system and wildland fire safety training to landowners in possession of firefighting capability to help ensure that any wildland fire suppression actions taken by private landowners on their own land are accomplished safely and in coordination with any related incident command structure.
(2) The local wildland fire liaison may play an active role in the outreach and recruitment of wildland fire suppression contractors under subsection (1) of this section. This effort may include, but is not limited to, reaching out to local fire districts and collecting their knowledge to identify potential fire suppression contractors.
(3) Nothing in subsection (1) of this section prohibits the department from:
(a) Engaging, as needed, local private wildland fire suppression contractors not included on the master list or subject to a preemptive agreement; or
(b) Conducting safety training on the site of a wildland fire in order to utilize available contractors not included on a master list of qualified wildland fire suppression contractors.
(4) When entering into preemptive agreements with landowners and other contractors under this section, the department must:
(a) Ensure that all equipment and personnel satisfy department standards, including any applicable safety training certifications required by the department of labor and industries;
(b) Ensure that all contractors are, when engaged in fire suppression activities, under the supervision of recognized wildland fire personnel;
(c) Verify that the agreements have been finalized with an agreed upon standard operating rate identified before being included on the master list of qualified contractors; and
(d) Inspect, or verify the inspection of, any equipment included in the agreement to ensure that all safety and dependability standards are satisfied.
(5) The department may authorize operational field personnel to carry additional personal protection equipment in order to loan the equipment to private fire suppression contractors as needed.
(6) No civil liability may be imposed by any court on the state or its officers and employees for any adverse impacts resulting from training or personal protection equipment provided by the department or preemptive agreements entered into by the department under the provisions of this section except upon proof of gross negligence or willful or wanton misconduct.
(5) [(7)] All requirements in this section are subject to the availability of amounts appropriated for the specific purposes described.
NOTES:
Effective date2017 c 104: "This act is necessary for the immediate preservation of the public peace, health, or safety, or support of the state government and its existing public institutions, and takes effect June 30, 2017." [ 2017 c 104 § 4.]
Site Contents
Selected content listed in alphabetical order under each group