COBURG, Ore. -- As hundreds of Oregon firefighters battle blazes in California, their loved ones say they’re getting a lot of support.
As of Monday morning, Oregon had sent 85 fire engines and 318 firefighters to assist. Some of those are fighting the Camp Fire, which is now the most destructive fire in the state's history.
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Lane County Fire Defense Chief Chad Minter said crews are on 24-hour shifts and doing everything from battling the blazes to searching for and recovering victims. Minter said it’s likely crews will be spending Thanksgiving on the fire lines, and depending on the severity of the fires, their stay could go as long as 21 days.
"Twenty-one is the max. It could change to 21. We're hoping in this case it doesn't," Minter said. "Historically we've never went 21 in California, but you never know. It's whatever the need is."
Lisa Armstead’s and Andrea Enright’s husbands are down in California fighting the Camp Fire. Both men are volunteers with the Coburg Fire District.
Both women said their husbands have been called up to fight fires out of state before. They hope their husbands make it back in time for Thanksgiving but know there is work to be done.
"Twenty-one days is hard. Sixteen days is hard," Enright said. "But you look at the news and you see all the stuff that is going on down there and you think, ‘I can be without my husband for 21 days.’ They definitely need some help down there."
Lisa Armstead is also a firefighter. She said families who have loved ones fighting the fires in California are all getting support from the community. She said family and friends, including other local firefighters, are ready to help them with whatever they need.
"Everybody helps everybody else out," Armstead said. "This is family."
Both Enright and Armstead said they have spoken to their husbands since they left. According to the Oregon State Fire Marshal's Office, no Oregon firefighters have been hurt as of Monday.
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