SALEM, Ore. – The combination of hot weather and lightning in the forecast in Southern Oregon has prompted the Oregon Office of State Fire Marshal (OSFM) to pre-position a structural taskforce of firefighters and equipment in Klamath County over the coming weekend.
The taskforce from Lane County, made up of 14 firefighters, four engines, and a water tender, will arrive in Klamath County on Friday, July 29 and will be pre-positioned for 72 hours. The team may stay longer if needed. The taskforce will be on the ground to add additional firefighting capacity if a brush or wildfire breaks out.
“Pre-positioning resources provides additional capacity through the Oregon Fire Mutual Aid System (OFMAS) to areas of Oregon where fire activity could challenge local resources.” Oregon State Fire Marshal Mariana Ruiz-Temple said. “Rising to the challenge of wildfires is a statewide effort through our response system, truly Oregonians helping Oregonians when they need it.”
Pre-positioning resources is just one of the tools the OSFM has as part of its Response Ready Oregon initiative. Pre-positioning resources is a proactive way to strategically place firefighting resources to keep fires small and away from communities. These resources will bolster any initial fire attack or respond quickly to other emerging incidents in the state. These firefighters and equipment are not being assigned to a specific incident but will be an added resource to increase the state’s readiness if there is a fire.
“This taskforce will give us much-needed capacity and give us the opportunity to keep any fire small. We appreciate the availability of resources through OSFM,” Keno Fire Chief John Ketchum said.
Currently, the OSFM is not mobilizing any of its Incident Management Teams (IMTs). The teams are ready to go if they are needed.
As this hot weather continues, the OSFM encourages all Oregonians to be aware of the dry conditions and take the necessary precautions to avoid sparking a human-caused fire.