County gets firefighter reinforcements


Last updated 8/16/2022 at Noon

Last week saw the arrival in Sisters of a task force. Recent lightning and the elevated threat of wildfire in Central and Southern Oregon have prompted the Oregon Office of State Fire Marshal (OSFM) to pre-position two structural task forces of firefighters and equipment in Deschutes and Klamath counties.

A task force from Marion County mobilized Thursday morning, August 11. These firefighters pre-positioned in Deschutes County. The task force is made up of 13 firefighters, four engines, and one water tender. These resources would be pre-positioned for 72 hours and may stay longer if needed.

“The task forces will be on the ground to add additional firefighting capacity if a brush or wildfire breaks out,” Johnson said.

With rising temperatures returning, the potential for holdover fires from lightning strikes in previous days and even weeks is present.

Oregon State Fire Marshal Mariana Ruiz-Temple said, “We’re using the power of the Oregon Fire Mutual Aid System (OFMAS) to move resources and add capacity to respond to any fire that may spark. Our goal is to keep fires small and away from communities.”

Pre-positioning resources is just one of the tools the OSFM has as part of its Response Ready Oregon initiative. These resources will bolster any initial fire attack or allow a quick response to other emerging incidents in the state. These firefighters and equipment are not assigned to a specific incident but are an added resource to increase the state’s readiness if there is a fire.

Johnson identified the task force members. Mt.?Angel Fire Department, Marion County Fire District #1, Hubbard Fire District, Lyons Fire Department, Aumsville Fire Department, and Keizer Fire District.


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