Governor Brown invoked the Emergency Conflagration Act Friday, freeing up the Oregon State Fire Marshal’s Office (OSFM) to deploy resources and staff outside of the jurisdiction to assist the rapidly growing fire.
Among the mutual aid requested was a task force composed of Portland, Gresham and Corbett Fire crews. Rich Tyler, the Public Information Officer for OSFM’s Incident Management Team, told KOIN 6 News an incident of this magnitude requires fast action and teamwork.
“In the fire service incidents can quickly become bigger than what we can handle at the local level,” Tyler explained. “Then we go to the next expanding level of our mutual aid agreement and reach out to our surrounding jurisdictions so they can assist us in managing those incidents.”
In addition to mutual aid from Oregon, the team is expecting two Washington State task forces to arrive Saturday.
Tyler, who is currently on the front lines of the Patton Meadow Fire, is admittedly concerned by what crews are witnessing. “We’re seeing similar fire behavior as we saw for the Bootleg Fire,” Tyler recalled. “Which causes us concern cause we saw how quickly that one grew. That’s part of the reason we’re here, to immediately put resources on the fire and try to contain it.”
According to Tyler, while the rapid growth of the Patton Meadow Fire is concerning, the joint agencies will continue to respond quickly, work together, and exhaust every resource to keep the community safe.
“Local crews did an incredible job jumping on it right away,” Said Tyler. “The State Fire Marshal’s Office immediately sent two task forces down here, and Governor very quickly got involved signing the conflagration act so we could have five more task forces! It really is an example of Oregonians helping Oregonians.”