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Certain fire crews best fit for wildland, structure fires

Different crews are sent to fires depending on what they specialize in.

Posted: Aug 23, 2018 7:37 PM
Updated: Aug 24, 2018 3:24 PM

LANE COUNTY, Ore. -- With all the fires in our region, crews are being sent out and brought in from other areas. Which fire crews go where depends on the type of engines, tools, and firefighters that are part of a certain team.

When a fire isn’t threatening structures, the National Interagency Fire Center determines who goes where. An Incident Management Team is assigned to the fire. ICMs in certain areas are busy during fire season, so a team from a different region of the US is assigned. For that reason, we see fire crews from other areas working on wildfires locally.

If a fire starts to threaten structures, the state fire marshal gets involved. The governor can also issue the emergency conflagration act. In that case, more structural crews like those with Lane County are sent to a fire.

Jessica Gardetto, with the fire center, tells KEZI fighting fires is a team effort.

“When a fire occurs say near Eugene, Oregon, they will send the closest forces so that may be an engine crew, it may be a hotshot crew, helicopters, air tankers... And if that fire becomes too large or problematic to handle it, then they call for resources from nearby areas,” Gardetto said.

Coburg Fire Chief, Chad Minter, tells KEZI they are happy to help other crews when possible.

“We always provide when we're asked if we possibly can. Some day that's going to reciprocate and some day we're going to have that problem in Lane County. We'll probably be asking the fire marshal's office for help through the governor and we'll have task forces in this county at some point," Chief Minter said. 

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