Monday, August 24, 2015


The Okanogan-Wenatchee National Forest, USDA Forest Service
                                                 Issue #2

Multiple teams, agencies, organizations, and support personnel are in place in Wenatchee, WA, to assist the Okanogan-Wenatchee National Forest.

The Atlanta National Incident Management Organization (NIMO) is planning a Memorial Service for U. S. Forest Service employees Tom Zbyszewski, Andrew Zajac and Richard Wheeler, who were killed last week while working on the Twisp River fire.    The service is being planned in coordination with the families.It will be held in Wenatchee at a time, date, and location yet to be determined.  The team is trying to secure a venue that will accommodate the large number of people expected to attend. 

The Portland NIMO Team is assisting the Forest with strategic planning by developing and maintaining a “fusion point” for information; this serves to facilitate communication and enable effective decision making.  They are also providing support for activities such as fire management, incident business, and public affairs. 

Two Type 1 Teams are in place to manage the Chelan Complex and the Okanogan Complex.  A third Type 1 Team will arrive on Wednesday; this team will likely assist with the Okanogan Complex fires.  Nearly 1,800 fire fighters are assigned to four large fire complexes across the forest.  The fires exceed 380,000 acres and 86 structures have been lost.

Medical Updates
Daniel Lyon, the fourth firefighter, remains in Seattle’s Harborview Medical Center with third degree burns over a large portion of his body.  Daniel’s parents are thankful for the prayers and support that they have received.
The same fire also injured two firefighters and a contract employee from the Washington Department of Natural Resources (DNR).  Donald Smith, Reed Callis, and the contract employee (whose name has not been released) have been discharged from the hospital and are recuperating. 

Family Liaisons Established
Family Liaisons have been meeting on a daily basis with family members to determine their concerns, issues, needs, and wishes.  The liaisons then relay this information to the teams.        

Honor Guard
The Honor Guard is coordinating with other agencies to schedule assistance with both the memorial and other funeral services.  Multiple agencies are represented on the Honor Guard.  

 Critical Incident Stress Management Team
A Critical Incident Stress Management (CISM) team has been working with the Methow Valley Ranger District, and will eventually work their way around the Forest to meet with all district and SO personnel who are interested.  The Seattle Fire Department has a similar team in place working with affected state and federal employees.

Additional Support
Burke Minor, from the Wildland Firefighter Foundation has arrived. The foundation provides support to injured fire fighters as well as the families of those who are killed in the line of duty.  Several representatives from the National Fallen Firefighters Foundation have arrived to provide planning and operational support and to assist the families with submission of the Public Safety Officers Benefit claim.

Contact Information
For additional information, contact Judith Downing,
U. S. Forest Service, National Incident Management Organization (NIMO), at the listed email address