The Oregon Office of State Fire Marshal (OSFM) is mobilizing Oregon fire resources to assist with the response to California wildfires, following the statewide emergency declaration on Aug. 18 by California Gov. Gavin Newsom in response to extreme temperatures and wildfires conditions.
The OSFM has activated its Agency Operations Center and will be sending three task forces with equipment and personnel to join firefighting efforts. The task forces will be mobilized today.
The mobilized strike teams, comprising 52 personnel, will be sent from the following counties: Clatsop, Linn and Marion counties.
“The Oregon Fire Service is ready to provide state-to-state assistance to California,” said Chief Deputy State Fire Marshal Mariana Ruiz-Temple. “The Oregon Fire Mutual Aid System (OFMAS) has capacity to respond quickly when the state receives formal requests from our neighbors.”
California made the request through the Emergency Management Assistance Compact (EMAC), a national state-to-state mutual aid system. The EMAC request is sent directly to the Oregon Office of Emergency Management. The requests allow for the OSFM to mobilize resources through the OFMAS. The task forces are comprised of Oregon’s structural firefighting agencies, which provide structural firefighting and all-hazards assistance.
“The Oregon Fire Mutual Aid System is poised to provide approximately 20 task forces quickly to areas throughout the state,” said Oregon State Fire Marshal Jim Walker. “Given our current weather and fire conditions, we remain on standby should Oregon need resources; however, given that we are not currently mobilized on a conflagration and the need in California, we feel confident of our ability to provide assistance to our neighbors in this time.”
Oregon’s structural firefighters mobilized by the OSFM were last sent to California to respond to multiple fires there in late October and November 2019, including the Burris Fire in Mendocino County, the Kincade Fire in Sonoma County and the Ranch Fire in Tehama County. All told, the OSFM sent 264 members from 68 Oregon fire agencies and 92 apparatus. These resources made up 15 strike teams of engines, along with two Agency Representatives.