Mark Bransom (right), CEO of the Klamath River Renewal Corporation (KRRC), presents a water tender to Bernie Paul, representing the Siskiyou County Fire Chiefs Association. A wide array of other firefighting equipment is forthcoming to fulfill the conditions of a Memorandum of Understanding between KRRC and the Fire Chiefs Association.
The Klamath River Renewal Corporation (KRRC) announced today that it has delivered two Peterbilt water tenders to the Siskiyou County Fire Chiefs Association to strengthen local fire prevention and response capabilities. The trucks are just the first pieces of equipment KRRC will provide to increase the capacity of local fire departments. The water tenders were built and purchased in Siskiyou County, adding an economic boost to a local business. A 2023 Dodge Ram 5500 diesel flatbed truck and other equipment is on order from regional suppliers.
“As one of the many components of the KRRC Fire Management Plan, we are bolstering the resources of local firefighting entities and community groups,” said Mark Bransom, CEO for KRRC.
Siskiyou County Fire Warden Bernie Paul underscored the importance of the new equipment.
“The Siskiyou County Fire Chiefs Association has received the first pieces of equipment from an agreement with KRRC,” Paul said. “With this new equipment, Siskiyou’s local fire departments will be better prepared for wildfires, both operationally and pre fire fuel reduction work. This equipment will be placed in northern Siskiyou County for its response to wildfires.”
In addition to the newly delivered trucks, the agreement with the Fire Chief’s Association calls for KRRC to provide four fire pumps, eight 3,000 gallon aluminum frame tanks, twenty fire hoses with 50’ lengths, a 15-inch drum chipper, a dump trailer, four helicopter dip tanks, radio equipment, four 24’ flatbed trailers to transport tanks, and more.
“We understand the danger posed by wildfire, and that the hydroelectric reservoirs have been used by firefighters in the past,” said Bransom. “We are dedicated to providing resources that will leave local communities in a strong position to deal with wildfire threats that are an inherent aspect of life in Northern California.”
KRRC has entered into a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the Siskiyou County Fire Chiefs Association to establish procedures for implementing KRRC’s Fire Management Plan and firefighting operations in response to the removal of four dams in the Lower Klamath Project. Although the MOU does not require KRRC to provide the equipment until after regulatory approvals for dam removal are finalized, Bransom explained that KRRC decided to provide the equipment in advance.
“We want to be a good neighbor, and go above and beyond our obligations whenever possible,” said Bransom. “Given the ever-present threat of wildfire, we wanted to get these tools in the hands of the Siskiyou County Fire Chiefs Association as soon as possible.”
In addition to the equipment provided under the MOU, KRRC’s Fire Management Plan also calls for a system of remote cameras that will allow more accurate and timely pinpointing of fire start locations as well as monitoring of fires; identifying water drafting locations from the Klamath River suitable for helicopter access; continued operation of a gravity-fed hydrant system; a system of dry hydrants and revamped boat launches appropriate for fire engine access and drafting; and other measures. The California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection (CAL FIRE) and the Oregon Department of Forestry have endorsed the Fire Plan.
The Klamath River Renewal Corporation (KRRC) is a private, independent nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization formed in 2016 by 23 signatories of the amended Klamath Hydroelectric Settlement Agreement, or KHSA. KRRC is part of a cooperative effort to re-establish the natural vitality of the Klamath River so that it can support all communities in the Klamath Basin. Signatories, which include the States of California and Oregon, local governments, Tribal nations, dam owner PacifiCorp, irrigators, and several conservation and fishing groups, appointed KRRC to take ownership and oversee removal of four hydroelectric dams on the river. KRRC’s work is funded by PacifiCorp customer surcharges and California Proposition 1 water bond funds.
More information about KRRC and its mission can be found at the KRRC’s website: klamathrenewal.org