Oregon State Fire Marshal
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News Releases
Update on Oregon strike teams assisting with the California wildfires - 12/11/17

The Oregon Office of State Fire Marshal, through the Emergency Management Assistance Compact, activated its Agency Operations Center Wednsday, December 6th and deployed 15 strike teams with equipment and personnel who are now actively engaged in assisting with the wildfires in California.

All Oregon resources are assigned to assist with the Thomas Fire burning near Ventura, California. The California Office of Emergency Services reports that the Thomas Fire is at 230,500 acres and is 15% contained.

"Oregon resources are doing great work and their morale is good," said Chief Deputy State Fire Marshal Mariana Ruiz-Temple. "We continue to be proud of our firefighters professionalism and effective intergration with California resources during these difficult fires."

In addition to OSFM's deployed resources, the Oregon Department of Forestry has also deployed 60 personnel and 25 engines to assist with the California wildfires.

Be sure to follow the OSFM on Facebook/Oregon Office of State Fire Marshal and Twitter @OSFM for regular updates.

California made the request through the Emergency Management Assistance Compact a national state-to-state mutual aid system. The EMAC request is sent directly to Oregon Emergency Management who contact and coordinate with the appropriate Oregon agency to fulfill the requests.

Holiday planning needs to include fire prevention and safety - 12/11/17

With the holiday season in full swing, State Fire Marshal Jim Walker urges citizens to remember fire prevention when decorating and entertaining.

From 2012 through 2016, Oregon fire agencies reported there were 3,510 residential fires during the holiday period from November 22 through January 15. These fires were reported to have resulted in 14 deaths, 194 injuries, and more than $61.2 million in property loss.

"This season is a busy and exciting time of year, but don't let that distract you from keeping your family and friends safe from fire," says Walker. "By following a few important prevention tips for Christmas trees, decorations, and candles, you can help ensure your holidays remain happy."

Tree care and decorating tips:
* Choose a fresh, healthy tree with a deep-green color and flexible needles.
* When you get the tree home, cut off the bottom two inches of the trunk. This creates a fresh, raw cut for the tree to soak up water.
* Water your tree daily. A tree may consume between a quart and a gallon of water per day.
* Place the tree at least three feet away from any heat source such as a fireplace, woodstove, space heater, heating vent, baseboard heater, or radiator.
* Use only noncombustible or flame resistant materials to trim a tree.
* Always unplug tree lights before leaving home or going to bed.
* If using a woodstove or fireplace, keep it screened at all times. Keep ribbons, boughs, and other decorative materials at least three feet away.
* After the holiday season or whenever your tree dries out, promptly dispose of it and other dry greenery. Burning a tree in a stove or fireplace is extremely dangerous; proper disposal includes recycling or pick-up by a disposal service.
* Never burn wrapping paper in the fireplace or wood stove. Wrapping paper burns at higher temperatures than wood and can cause a chimney fire.

Electrical safety
* Maintain your holiday lights. Inspect holiday lights each year for frayed wires, bare spots, and broken or cracked sockets.
* Do not overload electrical sockets. Do not link more than three light strands, unless the manufacturer's directions indicate it is safe.
* Protect electrical cords from damage. To avoid shock or fire hazards, cords should never be pinched by furniture, placed under rugs, located near heat sources or attached by nails or staples.
* Make sure all extension cords and electrical decorations used outdoors are marked for outdoor use.

Candle safety
* Consider using battery-operated flameless candles, which can look and smell like real candles.
* Never leave a burning candle unattended. Extinguish candles when you go to bed, leave a room, or before leaving the house.
* Keep candles at least 12 inches away from anything that can burn. Keep candles at least one foot from combustibles including clothing, curtains, upholstered furniture, greenery, and decorations.
* Always use a sturdy non-combustible (metal, glass, or ceramic) candleholder. If a sturdy non-combustible candleholder is not available, the candle can be placed on a non-combustible plate.
* Place candles out of reach of small children and pets.
* Avoid candles with items embedded in them such as twigs, flowers, or leaves. These items can ignite or even explode.
* Always use a flashlight -- not a candle -- for emergency lighting.

General fire safety
* Keep combustibles at least three feet from heat sources.
* For increased protection, have working smoke alarms on every level of your home (including the basement), in each bedroom, and in the hallway outside each bedroom.
* Make a home fire escape plan and practice it with your family and any overnight guests.
* Keep escape routes clear of clutter so you can escape quickly in case of fire.

For more information on fire safety visit: http://www.oregon.gov/OSP/SFM/pages/com_ed_section.aspx

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Update on Oregon strike teams assisting with the California wildfires (Photo) - 12/07/17

The Oregon Office of State Fire Marshal, through the Emergency Management Assistance Compact, has activated its Agency Operations Center and deployed 15 strike teams with equipment and personnel who are now actively engaged in assisting with the wildfires in California.

All Oregon resources have been assigned to either the Thomas Fire (seven Oregon strike teams) burning near Ventura, California, or the Creek Fire (eight Oregon strike teams) burning near Sylmar, California. They are very busy currently working on their assignments. Total Oregon deployment: 269 personnel and 75 apparatus.

"Today's forecasted weather will be a test to all firefighters and residents with winds expected at up to 60 mph," said Chief Deputy State Fire Marshal Mariana Ruiz-Temple. "These winds are expected to last through Friday, possibly diminishing over the weekend and picking back up again at the beginning of next week."

California OES reports the Thomas Fire is at 96,000 acres and 5% contained, and the Creek Fire is at 12,605 acres and 10% contained.

Be sure to follow the OSFM on Facebook/Oregon Office of State Fire Marshal and Twitter @OSFM for regular updates.

California made the request through the Emergency Management Assistance Compact a national state-to-state mutual aid system. The EMAC request is sent directly to Oregon Emergency Management who contact and coordinate with the appropriate Oregon agency to fulfill the requests.

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Oregon State Fire Marshal sends equipment and personnel to assist with California wildfires - 12/06/17

The Oregon Office of State Fire Marshal, through the Emergency Management Assistance Compact, has activated its Agency Operations Center and 10 strike teams with equipment and personnel who are enroute to assist with the latest wildfires in California.

California fire officials submitted a request asking for assistance yesterday evening from Oregon. The OSFM activated its emergency mobilization plan, sending out the request for assistance to all Oregon fire agencies.

"Oregon fire agencies have again answered the call and we are honored to assist our neighbors for the second time this year, said Chief Deputy State Fire Marshal Mariana Ruiz-Temple. "California helped us with the fires in southern Oregon this year, we assisted them in October and I am proud that we can again assist them in their time of need."

California made the request through the Emergency Management Assistance Compact a national state-to-state mutual aid system. The EMAC request is sent directly to Oregon Emergency Management who contact and coordinate with the appropriate Oregon agency to fulfill the requests.

Oregon county fire defense board chiefs have activated 10 strike teams that are enroute from the following counties: Lane, Multnomah, Washington, Linn, Marion, Clackamas, Klamath, Yamhill, a combined team from Polk, Linn, and Benton counties, and a team from the Rogue Valley area.

Five additional strike teams are being ordered and will be enroute later today.

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The state fire marshal wants you to keep fire safety on your holiday menu (Photo) - 11/17/17

With Thanksgiving just a few days away, State Fire Marshal Jim Walker is reminding Oregonians to keep fire safety front and center when cooking and preparing holiday meals.

"When friends and family gather at this festive time of year, don't let it be marred by tragedy," says Walker. "By following a few fire prevention tips, you can keep yourself and loved ones safe."

From 2012 through 2016, there were more than 3,600 cooking-related fires reported in Oregon causing seven deaths, 200 injuries, and more than $33 million in property loss.

Cooking safety tips:
* Keep a close eye on your cooking; never leave cooking food unattended. If you leave the kitchen, turn off the stove or set a timer.
* Keep your cooking area clean, including stovetop, burners, oven, and exhaust fan.
* Keep anything that can catch fire - oven mitts, wooden utensils, dishtowels, and food packaging away from your stovetop.
* Wear clothing that will not dangle onto stove burners and catch fire.
* Keep pot and pan handles turned inward on the stove to avoid bumping them and spilling hot foods.
* Heat cooking oil slowly and never leave it unattended.
* Have a "kid-free zone" of at least three feet around the stove and areas where hot foods or drinks are prepared or carried.

If you have a cooking fire:
* Always keep a lid nearby to smother small grease fires. Smother the flames by carefully sliding the lid over the pan. Turn off the burner and don't move the pan until it is completely cool.
* Never pour water on a grease fire; it can splatter the grease and spread the fire.
* In the event of a fire in your oven or microwave, turn them off and keep the doors closed.
* When in doubt, get out! Call 9-1-1 after you leave.

Make sure you have smoke alarms on every level of your home, outside each sleeping area, and in every bedroom. Test smoke alarms monthly and replace them if they are 10 years old or older.

Turkey fryer safety:
The OSFM agrees with the National Fire Protection Association in discouraging the use of outdoor gas-fueled turkey fryers that cook the turkey in hot oil. The use of deep fat turkey fryers can lead to devastating burns, other injuries, and the destruction of property.

However, if you use a fryer, the OSFM urges you to use extreme caution.

"If you're cooking your turkey in a deep fat fryer, always do it outdoors a safe distance from buildings, deck railings, and any other flammable material, and never leave it unattended," advises State Fire Marshal Jim Walker. "Hot oil is extremely dangerous, never use turkey fryers on a wooden deck or in your garage."

More turkey fryer safety tips:
* Lower and raise food slowly to reduce splatter and prevent burns.
* Cover bare skin when adding or removing food from the fryer.
* Make sure to have at least two feet of space between the propane tank and the fryer burner.
* If the oil begins to smoke, immediately turn the fryer gas supply off and leave the pot uncovered to cool.

For more information on cooking safety, visit: http://www.oregon.gov/osp/SFM/Pages/cookingsafety.aspx

For more information on general home fire safety, visit: http://www.oregon.gov/osp/SFM/pages/commed_firesafety_program.aspx

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