Text: S.1134 — 105th Congress (1997-1998)All Information (Except Text)

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Public Law No: 105-377 (11/12/1998)

[105th Congress Public Law 377]
[From the U.S. Government Printing Office]

[DOCID: f:publ377.105]

[[Page 112 STAT. 3391]]

Public Law 105-377
105th Congress

                                 An Act

     Granting the consent and approval of Congress <<NOTE: Nov. 12, 
  1998 -  [S. 1134]>>  to an interstate forest fire protection compact.

    Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the 
United States of America in Congress assembled,


    (a) In General.--The consent and approval of Congress is given to an 
interstate forest fire protection compact, as set out in subsection (b).
    (b) Compact.--The compact reads substantially as follows:


    ``THIS AGREEMENT is entered into by and between the State, 
Provincial, and Territorial wildland fire protection agencies signatory 
hereto, hereinafter referred to as ``Members''.
    ``FOR AND IN CONSIDERATION OF the following terms and conditions, 
the Members agree:

                               ``Article I

    ``1.1    The purpose of this Agreement is to promote effective 
prevention, presuppression and control of forest fires in the Northwest 
wildland region of the United States and adjacent areas of Canada (by 
the Members) by providing mutual aid in prevention, presuppression and 
control of wildland fires, and by establishing procedures in operating 
plans that will facilitate such aid.

                              ``Article II

    ``2.1    The agreement <<NOTE: State listing. Canada.>>  shall 
become effective for those Members ratifying it whenever any two or more 
Members, the States of Oregon, Washington, Alaska, Idaho, Montana, or 
the Yukon Territory, or the Province of British Columbia, or the 
Province of Alberta have ratified it.

    ``2.2    Any State, Province, or Territory not mentioned in this 
Article which is contiguous to any Member may become a party to this 
Agreement subject to unanimous approval of the Members.

[[Page 112 STAT. 3392]]

                              ``Article III

    ``3.1    The role of the Members is to determine from time to time 
such methods, practices, circumstances and conditions as may be found 
for enhancing the prevention, presuppression, and control of forest 
fires in the area comprising the Member's territory; to coordinate the 
plans and the work of the appropriate agencies of the Members; and to 
coordinate the rendering of aid by the Members to each other in fighting 
wildland fires.
    ``3.2    The Members may develop cooperative operating plans for the 
programs covered by this Agreement. Operating plans shall include 
definition of terms, fiscal procedures, personnel contacts, resources 
available, and standards applicable to the program. Other sections may 
be added as necessary.

                              ``Article IV

    ``4.1    A majority of Members shall constitute a quorum for the 
transaction of its general business. Motions of Members present shall be 
carried by a simple majority except as stated in Article II. Each Member 
will have one vote on motions brought before them.

                               ``Article V

    ``5.1    Whenever a Member requests aid from any other Member in 
controlling or preventing wildland fires, the Members agree, to the 
extent they possibly can, to render all possible aid.

                              ``Article VI

    ``6.1    Whenever the forces of any Member are aiding another Member 
under this Agreement, the employees of such Member shall operate under 
the direction of the officers of the Member to which they are rendering 
aid and be considered agents of the Member they are rendering aid to 
and, therefore, have the same privileges and immunities as comparable 
employees of the Member to which the are rendering aid.
    ``6.2    No Member or its officers or employees rendering aid within 
another State, Territory, or Province, pursuant to this Agreement shall 
be liable on account of any act or omission on the part of such forces 
while so engaged, or on account of the maintenance or use of any 
equipment or supplies in connection therewith to the extent authorized 
by the laws of the Member receiving the assistance. The receiving 
Member, to the extent authorized by the laws of the State, Territory, or 
Province, agrees to indemnify and save-harmless the assisting Member 
from any such liability.
    ``6.3    Any Member rendering outside aid pursuant to this Agreement 
shall be reimbursed by the Member receiving such aid for any loss or 
damage to, or expense incurred in the operation of any equipment and for 
the cost of all materials, transportation, wages, salaries and 
maintenance of personnel and equipment incurred in connection with such 
request in accordance with the provisions of the previous section. 
Nothing contained herein shall prevent any assisting Member from 
assuming such loss, damage,

[[Page 112 STAT. 3393]]

expense or other cost or from loaning such equipment or from donating 
such services to the receiving Member without charge or cost.
    ``6.4    For purposes of the Agreement, personnel shall be 
considered employees of each sending Member for the payment of 
compensation to injured employees and death benefits to the 
representatives of deceased employees injured or killed while rendering 
aid to another Member pursuant to this Agreement.
    ``6.5    The Members shall formulate procedures for claims and 
reimbursement under the provisions of this Article.

                              ``Article VII

    ``7.1    When appropriations for support of this agreement, or for 
the support of common services in executing this agreement, are needed, 
costs will be allocated equally among the Members.
    ``7.2    As necessary, Members shall keep accurate books of account, 
showing in full, its receipts and disbursements, and the books of 
account shall be open at any reasonable time to the inspection of 
representatives of the Members.
    ``7.3    The Members may accept any and all donations, gifts, and 
grants of money, equipment, supplies, materials and services from the 
Federal or any local government, or any agency thereof and from any 
person, firm or corporation, for any of its purposes and functions under 
this Agreement, and may receive and use the same subject to the terms, 
conditions, and regulations governing such donations, gifts, and grants.

                             ``Article VIII

    ``8.1    Nothing in this Agreement shall be construed to limit or 
restrict the powers of any Member to provide for the prevention, 
control, and extinguishment of wildland fires or to prohibit the 
enactment of enforcement of State, Territorial, or Provincial laws, 
rules or regulations intended to aid in such prevention, control and 
extinguishment of wildland fires in such State, Territory, or Province.
    ``8.2    Nothing in this Agreement shall be construed to affect any 
existing or future Cooperative Agreement between Members and/or their 
respective Federal agencies.

                              ``Article IX

    ``9.1    The Members may request the United States Forest Service to 
act as the coordinating agency of the Northwest Wildland Fire Protection 
Agreement in cooperation with the appropriate agencies for each Member.
    ``9.2    The Members will hold an annual meeting to review the terms 
of this Agreement, any applicable Operating Plans, and make necessary 
    ``9.3    Amendments to this Agreement can be made by simple majority 
vote of the Members and will take effect immediately upon passage.

[[Page 112 STAT. 3394]]

                               ``Article X

    ``10.1    This Agreement shall continue in force on each Member 
until such Member takes action to withdraw therefrom. Such action shall 
not be effective until 60 days after notice thereof has been sent to all 
other Members.

                              ``Article XI

    ``11.1    Nothing is this Agreement shall obligate the funds of any 
Member beyond those approved by appropriate legislative action.''.


    Without further submission of the compact, the consent of Congress 
is given to any State to become a party to it in accordance with its 


    The right to alter, amend, or repeal this Act is expressly reserved.

    Approved November 12, 1998.


            July 30, considered and passed Senate.
            Oct. 15, considered and passed House.