Strike Teams Return Home From Camp Fire

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Oregon Department of Forestry Strike Teams Head Home From Camp Fire

Salem, Ore. –  Strike teams from the Oregon Department of Forestry (ODF) and Douglas Forest Protective Association (DFPA) were released today by Cal Fire from their assignment on the Camp Fire in Butte County, Calif. Heavy rains forecasted for much of the area are expected to improve conditions and provide a much-needed reprieve for wildfire suppression throughout the region.

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Reported as the deadliest wildfire in a century, the Camp Fire is estimated at 151,373 acres and 70 percent contained, with at least 79 civilian fatalities reported and over 13,000 structures destroyed. Tasks completed by ODF and DFPA resources included fire line construction and improvements, burning operations to assisting in recovery efforts in the City of Paradise and surrounding communities. The teams worked alongside Cal Fire and California Office of Emergency Management as well as numerous fellow firefighting agencies.

The 28 agency and association personnel head home to their families today just in time for the Thanksgiving holiday.

“Our crews came down readily willing to serve Cal Fire and the citizens of Butte County,” said ODF Agency Representative Matt Howard. “While the work they completed was within their scope, training and experience, the difference with the Camp Fire was the sheer magnitude of the incident. The severe loss of human life, infrastructure, and natural resources are unlike anything our folks have experienced.

“As the agency representative, I am extremely humbled to have shared this assignment with the two experienced Engine Strike Teams from the Oregon Department of Forestry and Douglas Forest Protective Association. Our homecoming is bittersweet as we head home to our loved ones,” Howard added. “Our heartfelt wishes are with our fellow firefighters, Paradise and surrounding communities, and all those impacted by this tragic fire.”

Press release provided from the Oregon Department of Forestry.

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Oregon strike teams home from the Camp Fire

All 15 of Oregon Office of State Fire Marshal’s  strike teams that have been assisting with battling the Camp Fire for the past 12 days have demobilized  and are all back at  their home stations as of yesterday, just in time to spend Thanksgiving with their loved ones.   

Chief Kim Zagaris, State Fire and Rescue Chief at California Governor’s Office of Emergency Services, stated, “I wanted to pass along our deepest thanks to both Director Phelps and State Forester Decker as well as the staffs at the Oregon State Fire Marshal, the Oregon Office of Emergency Management, the Oregon Department of Forestry, and especially the Oregon Fire Service who again were able to respond to California’s request for Mutual Aid. Your ability to respond so quickly with 85 Oregon Fire Engines and the 290 firefighters who staff them is most impressive. Nothing can make us more proud than to see the Nation’s Fire Service respond to its neighbor’s assistance for Mutual Aid so quickly”.

The Oregon Office of State Fire Marshal is extremely pleased with the performance of our strike teams, as they have played an important role in helping our neighbors to the south.  All of Oregon can be proud of the professionalism and effectiveness of our firefighters while battling this historical fire.

Press release from the Oregon State Fire Marshal.

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