Resolution establishing a "Central Pine Barrens Wildfire Task Force"
to undertake wildfire response planning

Originally passed at the Commission meeting
on October 25, 1995, and subsequently modified at the Commission meetings
of November 8, 1995; December 6, 1995; January 29, 1997; March 11, 1998; August 26, 1998;
July 21, 1999; December 20, 2000; September 5, 2001, January 15, 2003,
February 18, 2004, September 21, 2005, and December 21, 2005.

WHEREAS the Central Pine Barrens Joint Planning and Policy Commission (the "Commission"), having its principal offices at P.O. Box 587, 3525 Sunrise Highway, 2nd Floor, Great River, NY, was created pursuant to the Long Island Pine Barrens Protection Act of 1993 (the "Act") codified in New York Environmental Conservation Law (the "ECL") Article 57; and

WHEREAS pursuant to the Act, the Commission adopted the Central Pine Barrens Comprehensive Land Use Plan (the "Plan") designed to protect, preserve and enhance the functional integrity of the Pine Barrens ecosystem and its significant natural resources, including plant and animal populations and communities, to protect the quality of surface water and groundwater, discourage piecemeal and scattered development, to promote recreational and environmental educational uses that are consistent with the Plan, to accommodate development in a manner consistent with the long term integrity of the pine barrens ecosystem, and to ensure that the pattern of development is compact, orderly and efficient; and

WHEREAS the Act required, as set forth in ECL 57-0121(6)(t), that the Plan provide for fire management for responses to unanticipated fires ("wildfires") in coordination with local volunteer fire departments; and

WHEREAS the Plan states "The threat to human lives and property justifies the suppression and control of these wildfires", and "Aggressive fire suppression must remain an essential cornerstone of the pine barrens under these conditions", as delineated in Volume I, section 7.6.10 of the Plan, (the "wildfire section of the Plan"); and

WHEREAS the wildfire section of the Plan recognized the success that the well established structure, which includes local volunteer fire companies employing the Incident Command System (ICS) and depending upon Mutual Aid Assistance, has had in suppressing wildfires in the pine barrens; and

WHEREAS the wildfire section of the Plan provides that full wildfire suppression should remain the standard for areas where wildland and developed areas meet, when fires threaten residential areas, or when human life or property are in immediate danger; and

WHEREAS the wildfire section of the Plan recognizes that for certain relatively remote areas, modified suppression strategies that use confinement and containment methods, with indirect attack, should be considered, and that such modified suppression tactics would reduce firefighters' exposure to risk; and

WHEREAS the wildfire section of the Plan states that guidelines for utilizing modified suppression tactics need to be developed; and

WHEREAS the wildfire section of the Plan states that prefire planning will be an important part of directing appropriate suppression response due to the short duration of most fire events in the pine barrens; and

WHEREAS the Commission may convene conferences, seminars, meetings, or technical sessions as set forth in ECL 57-0119(6)(n);

Now, therefore, be it

RESOLVED that the Commission hereby establishes a "Central Pine Barrens Wildfire Task Force" to undertake prefire planning for wildfire suppression response, as called for in the Plan, and to formulate guidelines for the use, where appropriate, of modified wildfire suppression strategies, as called for in the Plan; and be it further

RESOLVED that the Central Pine Barrens Wildfire Task Force shall, within one year of its first meeting, prepare or cause to be prepared a Central Pine Barrens Wildfire Management Strategy; and be it further

RESOLVED that the Central Pine Barrens Wildfire Management Strategy shall include, but not be limited to, the following:

(1) a prefire plan for incident response, mobilization, and resource deployment,
(2) a determination of the wildfire suppression techniques appropriate for use in the Core Preservation Area of the Central Pine Barrens,
(3) a list of criteria and guidelines for the selection and use of each wildfire suppression technique,
(4) fire prevention programs or techniques appropriate for the Core Preservation Area of the Central Pine Barrens,
(5) a standard system of record keeping for fire incidents in the Core Preservation Area of the Central Pine Barrens, and
(6) such other components as the Central Pine Barrens Wildfire Task Force shall determine to be essential;

and be it further

RESOLVED that the Commission hereby proposes that membership on the Central Pine Barrens Wildfire Task Force include representatives from the following entities:

and be it further

RESOLVED that each of the entities comprising the Central Pine Barrens Wildfire Task Force, shall have one vote each on all matters which the task force addresses; and be it further

RESOLVED that each meeting of the Central Pine Barrens Wildfire Task Force shall require a quorum defined as the presence of a minimum of sixteen (16) of the entities comprising the task force, and that all decisions and votes of the Central Pine Barrens Wildfire Task Force shall require an affirmative vote of at least two thirds of the entities present; and be it further

RESOLVED that the Chair of the Central Pine Barrens Wildfire Task Force shall be a member of a local volunteer fire department with jurisdiction in the Core Preservation Area of the Central Pine Barrens, who shall be appointed by the Commission taking into consideration the recommendation of the Central Pine Barrens Wildfire Task Force(3); and be it further

RESOLVED that the Members of the Central Pine Barrens Wildfire Task Force shall serve without compensation; and be it further

RESOLVED that the Commission shall solicit the advice of the Central Pine Barrens Wildfire Task Force in matters related to future planning for prevention of, and responding to, wildfires in the Central Pine Barrens, and specifically, the Commission shall consider modifications or amendments to the Central Pine Barrens Comprehensive Land Use Plan if and as proposed by the Central Pine Barrens Wildfire Task Force following its deliberations; and be it further

RESOLVED that the Commission shall not delegate any of its decision making or statutory authority to the Central Pine Barrens Wildfire Task Force; and be it further

RESOLVED that the Commission recognizes that some of the aforementioned individual entities already possess the independent authority to implement practices to suppress wildfires within their jurisdiction which may include portions of the Core Preservation Area of the Central Pine Barrens, and that any activity, conduct and/or implementation of any such practices, whether existing or new, taken on behalf of one or more of the aforementioned individual entities, shall not be construed as having obtained the approval or consent of the Commission, unless the express approval of the Commission is obtained; and be it further

RESOLVED that the Commission staff shall provide logistical support to the Central Pine Barrens Wildfire Task Force, including providing notification to involved volunteer fire departments, federal, state, county, and town agencies, private entities, and all other entities comprising the Central Pine Barrens Wildfire Task Force; and be it further

RESOLVED that the first meeting of the Central Pine Barrens Wildfire Task Force shall take place on or before December 1, 1995.(4)
 

Record of original motion at Commission meeting of November 8, 1995:
Motion to approve: Mr. Cowen (for New York State)
Motion seconded by: Mr. Duffy (for Southampton Town)
5-0 approval by: Mr. Cowen, Mr. Duffy, Ms. Filmanski (for Riverhead Town), Mr. Girandola (for Brookhaven Town), and Mr. Proios (for Suffolk County)

Record of motion at Commission meeting of December 6, 1995 to amend the original Wildfire Task Force creation resolution to add the Brookhaven National Laboratory Fire Rescue Group as a member:
Motion to approve: Mr. Girandola (for Brookhaven Town)
Motion seconded by: Mr. Duffy (for Southampton Town)
4-0 approval by: Mr. Girandola, Mr. Duffy, Ms. Filmanski (for Riverhead Town), and Mr. Proios (for Suffolk County)

Record of motion at Commission meeting of January 29, 1997 to further amend the Wildfire Task Force creation resolution to add the Suffolk County Fire Chiefs Association, the Suffolk County Fire Districts Association, and the three Fire Chiefs Associations for Brookhaven, Riverhead, and Southampton Towns as members:
Motion to approve: Mr. Freleng (for Southampton Town)
Motion seconded by: Mr. Cowen (for New York State)
5-0 approval by: Mr. Cowen, Mr. Freleng, Ms. Filmanski (for Riverhead Town), Ms. Wiplush (for Brookhaven Town), and Mr. Proios (for Suffolk County)

Record of motion at Commission meeting of March 11, 1998 to further amend the Wildfire Task Force creation resolution to add the Westhampton Fire District as a member, and to further provide that, should the Westhampton Fire District at some future point organize its own fire department, then that future department would replace the Westhampton Fire District as a member of the Task Force:
Motion to approve: Mr. Cowen (for New York State)
Motion seconded by: Mr. Shea (for Southampton Town)
5-0 approval by: Mr. Cowen, Mr. Shea, Mr. Villella (for Riverhead Town), Mr. Girandola (for Brookhaven Town), and Mr. Proios (for Suffolk County)
(Note:  This resolution regarding the Westhampton Fire District was superseded by the Commission's 1/15/03 resolution - see below - which deleted the Westhampton Fire District entirely due to its merger with the Westhampton Beach Fire District.)

Record of motion at Commission meeting of August 26, 1998 to further amend the Wildfire Task Force creation resolution to add the New York Army National Guard Army Aviation Support Facility #1 and the Unites States Fish and Wildlife Service as members:
Motion to approve: Mr. Shea (for Southampton Town)
Motion seconded by: Mr. Villella (for Riverhead Town)
4-0 approval by: Mr. Shea, Mr. Villella, Mr. Girandola (for Brookhaven Town), and Mr. Proios (for Suffolk County)

Record of motion at Commission meeting of July 21, 1999 to further amend the Wildfire Task Force creation resolution to add the Suffolk County Fire Academy and the Suffolk County Police Department Arson Squad as members:
Motion to approve: Mr. Cowen (for New York State)
Motion seconded by: Mr. Villella (for Riverhead Town)
5-0 approval by: Mr. Proios (for Suffolk County), Mr. Villella, Mr. Girandola (for Brookhaven Town), Mr. Murphree (for Southampton Town), and Mr. Cowen

Record of motion at Commission meeting of December 20, 2000 to further amend the Wildfire Task Force creation resolution to modify the quorum necessary for Task Force meetings to be a minimum of eighteen member organizations:
Motion to approve: Mr. Cowen (for New York State)
Motion seconded by: Mr. MacLellan (for Riverhead Town)
4-0 approval by: Mr. Proios (for Suffolk County), Mr. MacLellan, Mr. Shea (for Southampton Town), and Mr. Cowen

Record of motion at Commission meeting of September 5, 2001 to further amend the Wildfire Task Force creation resolution to add the New York State Emergency Management Office as a member:
Motion to approve: Mr. Cowen (for New York State)
Motion seconded by: Ms. Prusinowski (for Brookhaven Town)
5-0 approval by: Mr. Proios (for Suffolk County), Mr. MacLellan (for Riverhead Town), Mr. Murphree (for Southampton Town), Ms. Prusinowski, and Mr. Cowen

Record of motion at Commission meeting of January 15, 2003 to further amend the Wildfire Task Force creation resolution to delete the Westhampton Fire District as a member, due to the recent state legislation that merged the Westhampton and Westhampton Beach Fire Districts:
Motion to approve: Mr. Cowen (for New York State)
Motion seconded by: Mr. MacLellan (for Riverhead Town)
4-0 approval by: Mr. Cowen, Mr. Shea (for Southampton Town), Mr. MacLellan, and Mr. Proios (for Suffolk County)

Record of motion at Commission meeting of February 18, 2004 to further amend the Wildfire Task Force creation resolution to modify the quorum necessary for Task Force meetings to be a minimum of sixteen member organizations:
Motion to approve: Mr. Scully (for New York State)
Motion seconded by: Mr. Murphree (for Southampton Town)
5-0 approval by: Mr. Scully, Mr. Murphree, Mr. Deering (for Suffolk County), Mr. Hoffman (for Brookhaven Town), and Ms. Lewis (for Riverhead Town)

Record of motion at Commission meeting of September 21, 2005 to further amend the Wildfire Task Force creation resolution to add the New York Wildfire and Incident Management Academy and the National Weather Service as members:
Motion to approve: Mr. Kent (for Riverhead Town)
Motion seconded by: Ms. Longo (for Suffolk County)
5-0 approval by: Mr. Scully (for New York State), Ms. Longo, Ms. Prusinowski (for Brookhaven Town), Mr. Shea (for Southampton Town), and Mr. Kent

Record of motion at Commission meeting of December 21, 2005 to further amend the Wildfire Task Force creation resolution to add the Suffolk County Arson Task Force as a member:
Motion to approve: Ms. Longo (for Suffolk County)
Motion seconded by: Mr. Shea (for Southampton Town)
5-0 approval by: Mr. Scully (for New York State), Ms. Longo, Ms. Prusinowski (for Brookhaven Town), Mr. Shea, and Mr. Kent (for Riverhead Town)

1. 1 An initial examination of the fire district maps showed 16 fire departments whose jurisdictions cover a portion of the Core Preservation Area. The initial list included:

1. Brookhaven
2. East Quogue
3. Eastport
4. Flanders
5. Gordon Heights
6. Hampton Bays
7. Manorville
8. Middle Island
9. Miller Place
10. Quogue
11. Ridge
12. Riverhead
13. Rocky Point
14. Wading River
15. Westhampton Beach
16. Yaphank

2. 2The first such entity added was the Brookhaven National Laboratory Fire Rescue Group. This was recommended by the Wildfire Task Force at its first meeting on 11/30/95 and approved by the Commission on 12/6/95.  Since that time, other organizations have been added as members (see the summary of Commission resolutions at the end of this enabling resolution).

3. 3At its first meeting on 11/30/95, the Wildfire Task Force recommended that Chief John Searing of the Rocky Point Fire Department be the first Chair, and that Capt. Robert Conklin of the New York State Forest Rangers and Chief Philip Drower of the Wading River Fire Department serve as the first Co-Vice Chairs. These recommendations were approved by the Commission on 12/6/95.

At its 1/28/98 meeting, the Task Force noted the resignation of Mr. Searing as Chair, and recommended that Chief Drower become the new Chair, and that Mr. John Urevich of the Southampton Town Fire Chiefs Association become a new Co-Vice Chair to replace Mr. Drower. Capt. Conklin remained a Co-Vice Chair. These recommendations were approved by the Commission at its 2/18/98 meeting.

4. 4The first meeting was held 11/30/95 at the Commission's office in Great River.