EUGENE, Ore. — A team of Eugene firefighters is battling the Douglas Complex fires.
About 60 firefighters from Eugene and surrounding areas are fighting the fires. They’re primarily working the night shift. They’re called hand teams, which means they focus on reducing fuels around the fire.
James Jurasevich with Dust Buster Plus returned Tuesday from the fires and says they are doing great. There aren’t any big issues, but they’re just not getting much sleep as they were put on that night shift.
Right now the crews working on a contingency line closer to town are preparing a road and cutting out a lot of the fuels to hopefully reduce the fire once it gets closer to that area. They are basically the boots on the ground and hike long distances to dig the fire line.
“We are more closer to the fire and working closer on the fire than most of the structure protections so we don’t participate too much in that but anytime we are out there we take our job as seriously as possible,” Jurasevich said.
The groups camped out at Glendale High School, and they say a lot of people have been hanging signs from the fences thanking them for their service. They’re a little worried about the weather reports calling for thunderstorms and possible lightning.
Some of these crew members actually worked beside the 19 firefighters last year who died about a month ago fighting an Arizona wildfire, and they say they know how serious their jobs are and that they put safety as a top priority.
Typically a tour lasts 14 days, and then there are two days of rest, and then they’ll see if they’re needed more for another 14.