2nd Lane County Strike Team departs for Southern California

A second strike team from Lane County left Tuesday afternoon.

Posted: Dec. 6, 2017 5:51 PM
Updated: Dec. 6, 2017 6:34 PM

EUGENE, Ore. -- Oregon fire crews are being sent to the front lines of the massive wildfires burning in Southern California.

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Lane Fire Authority Chief Terry Ney said 15 strike teams from across the state are either in Southern California already, or will be arriving there very soon.

A second strike team from Lane County left Tuesday afternoon.

The team is made up of 22 firefighters and five engines from Eugene Springfield Fire, McKenzie Fire & Rescue, Coburg Fire District, Siuslaw Valley Fire and Lane Fire Authority.

Chief Ney said in his 38-year career, this is the second time they've sent crews to California. The first was earlier this year, when crews were sent to help with the wildfires in Santa Rosa.

"I'm told these fires are burning in fuels that haven't burned in a number of years. They quite often get burn overs, but this particular area hasn't burned for a while so there's a large buildup of fuel and combined with these Santa Ana winds...they're very dry blowing out of the mountains," said Chief Ney.

Monday night, Lane County's Strike Team One met in Cottage Grove before heading down to California. Crews from Linn County also left for California on Monday, along with firefighters from Roseburg and Douglas County Fire District 2.

Chief Ney said the second strike team was told they could be down there for up to 21 days. He said they're hoping to be home by Christmas.

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