Northwest Outward Bound School Wildfire Season Plan
Wildfires, by definition, are unplanned fires that burn in natural areas. As we utilize the wilderness as our classroom, wildfires are an ongoing consideration, especially in the drier months of the year. The increased fire risk and active fires in the Pacific Northwest (and beyond) in recent years is a reminder of the responsibility we have when using public lands.
Student and staff safety is our priority. Northwest Outward Bound School closely monitors the changing weather and will reach out if there are any updates affecting your future course. If you are seeking information about a course that is happening now, please contact Student Services.
Plan and Protocols for Fire Season
Our team monitors fire updates and forecasts daily. Courses will be informed if there is a need to change itinerary or evacuate.
Course itineraries are approved by Forest Service and Bureau of Land Management personnel, and courses will not operate within close proximity to an existing fire.
We work closely with local, state, and federal agencies to reroute courses if needed.
Instructors check satellite phones twice daily during fire season for updates on weather, active fires and air quality conditions.
Course itineraries include multiple evacuation routes in case a new fire starts while a course is underway.
Fire season protocols are reviewed during staff safety briefings before each course.
Plan and Protocols for Smoke
Our team closely monitors air quality and will make decisions that prioritize respiratory health.
A number of different factors will be used Including Air Quality Index, duration of smoke exposure, health risk factors and other course risk factors when making decisions about course relocation or cancellation.
Students will be actively monitored for symptoms of smoke sensitivity during times when the Air Quality Index Is >100.
Staff will limit student exertion as needed.
Itineraries and activities will be changed, as needed, to limit exposure and ensure safety of students and staff.
In addition to standard first aid supplies on course, staff carry N95 masks for students as a proactive measure.
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