MEDFORD, Ore. — Firefighters from across the country are massing in Rogue Valley in anticipation of extreme fire danger conditions over the next week or two. The Oregon Forest Department said the strike team includes members from as far away as Arizona and Tennessee, and will be on hand to assist ODF resources in the area.
In total, the strike team consists of five Rural Metro Fire Type-6 engines, including three from Yuma, Tucson, and Maricopa County, Arizona. Two other engines are from Grants Pass, and a local Rural Metro firefighter will be joined by Tennessee personnel.
“Combined with a strike team leader from Yuma, Arizona, this mobilization will provide 11 additional firefighters in the area,” ODF said.
The strike team will be based at Medford ODF headquarters from 10am on Monday morning. The force will be based in the Rogue Valley, but could be sent anywhere in the southern Oregon region of ODF, which includes the districts of Western Lane, South Cascade and Southwest Oregon, as well as the protection associations Douglas and Coos forests.
“Resources are limited due to a large number of incidents across the landscape; with potential lightning strikes forecast early next week, the pre-positioning of this strike team ensures additional capacity in the area,” he said. declared ODF. “These resources will be available for up to two weeks beginning Monday, July 19, 2021.”
CalFire firefighters were also stationed in the Ashland area on Friday in anticipation that they might be needed as well.