One of the most effective means for disseminating fire prevention educational material and programs in the NorthWest is through fire prevention cooperatives. For instance, in 1979, the Central Oregon Fire Prevention Cooperative (COFPC) was formed to facilitate the exchange of resources and ideas among various regional agencies. Its membership is dedicated to the prevention of fires in the mid-Oregon region. To reach its goals, COFPC coordinates fire safety education programs, presentations, and projects.

The COFPC provides the very important service of pooling the scarce resources (i.e., people and funding) available to individual public fire and life safety organizations in the region. By pooling resources, COFPC offers coordination and synergies that provide small fire prevention agencies opportunities for educational outreach that they otherwise couldn’t pursue. By coordinating a consistent fire prevention message across the mid-Oregon region, COFPC effectively reinforces the important public education and awareness function on an efficient basis. It has been doing this since its inception.

As an example of how COFPC reaches out to children in the region, it offers the following 5-fact lesson plan to first graders;

Smokey’s friends never play with matches or lighters. What do you do if you see a fire burning out of control? Call 911 What do you do if you find matches or a lighter at home? Give them to your mom or dad. (Or the babysitter, grandma, etc? a grown-up). What do you do if you find matches or lighters on the way to school? Give them to a grown-up. What do you do if you find a younger child playing with matches or a lighter? Nicely take them away and give them to a grown-up.

Each and every wildland and structural fire agency within the region is a member of COFPC, including:

  • USDA Forest Service;
  • USDI Bureau of Land Management;
  • Oregon Department of Forestry;
  • Walker Range Fire Patrol Association;
  • USDI Bureau of Indian Affairs;
  • Confederated Tribes of Warm Springs;
  • the Oregon State Fire Marshal;
  • 16 city and rural fire departments;

While COFPC serves as a central clearing house for fire prevention education, it recognizes the specific needs of individual organizations with regard to communicating important information. Such information includes burn plans, closures, and public use restrictions, proper Fire Extinguisher training, as well as fire information for the Central Oregon Interagency Dispatch Center or fire teams.

Educational Resources:

COFPC is just one example of how NorthWestern fire prevention education can be strengthened and reinforced through careful coordination and sharing. The program makes fire prevention awareness available to residents, children, recreationists and businesses. All such programs have one fundamental message: learn to stop fires before they start!

This site is presented by the Pacific Northwest Wildfire Coordinating Group. The PNWCG is established to provide a coordinated interagency approach to wildfire management in Oregon and Washington. It is composed of fire prevention professionals from the USDA Forest Service, the USDI Bureau of Land Management, Bureau of Indian Affairs, National Park Service, and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, along with the Oregon Department of Forestry, Washington Department of Natural Resources, Washington Association of Fire Chiefs, and the Oregon Fire Chiefs Association.