PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — The Oregon Office of State Fire Marshal has officially mobilized firefighters and other resources to assist our California neighbors in the ongoing battle against wildfires.
Six task force teams with firefighting equipment and personnel were deployed at 6 a.m. on Friday after California requested assistance from Oregon. The strike teams being mobilized consist of firefighters from various counties, including Clatsop, Lane, Linn, Marion, Washington, and Yamhill.
Although Oregon’s own devastating wildfire season has subsided a bit, California is still battling up to 24 infernos. Around 3.9 million acres have burned this year already in the Golden State.
“The Oregon Fire Mutual Aid System (OFMAS) can easily mobilize 20 structural task forces at a given time, so we feel confident that the state has ample structural firefighting resources in-state in case any future demands arise that threaten communities,” State Fire Marshal Mariana Ruiz-Temple said.
California made its request through the Emergency Management Assistance Compact (EMAC), a national state-to-state mutual aid system.
This is the second time this year Oregon crews have been sent down to help with California fires. Back in mid-August, three task forces with more than 50 personnel were mobilized for a two-week deployment to Napa Valley to support the efforts against the LNU Lighting Complex. Those teams returned to Oregon on September 2.