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Big Fire Camp, Tiny Footprint

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GLENDALE, Ore. – It’s back to business as usual at Glendale High as the Douglas fire camp moves on. The team is downsizing and switching to a new camp just down the road, and leaving as small a footprint as possible behind.

“For the number of people that went through camp here, we did very well. There’s very, very little damage,” said school custodian Rodger Winkelman.

What was once a small city of over 3,300, 80 porta-potties, kitchens, showers, and laundry has been completely removed in a day and a half.

A team of 40 inmates completes the last bits of the work, while school staff doesn’t have to lift a finger or pay a dime.

“They did all the exterior maintenance. They did the garbage, the trash, picked up everything, did all the recycling, and they did a great job,” said Winkelman.

In fact, the school made money.

Fire camps pay daily rent, which in this case went to the school district’s general fund.

“It’s a win-win for both situations. We got an awesome facility to use for the duration of the fire, and they came out well too,” said Douglas Complex information officer Kyle Reed.

Now it’s on to a new, smaller camp just down the street. Crews previously staying at Glendale High will get a couple of days rest, and then it’s back onto the fire lines.

But officials on the Douglas Complex say they’re down to the last week of firefighting.

“A lot of the heat close to the line has been taken care of,” said Reed. “So they’re working on some rehab work on those trails. If they do find anything else they’re taking care of those.”

Once the fire is completely contained, local patrols with the Douglas Forest Protective Association will remain.

Meanwhile, Glendale High custodians say after a bit of interior cleaning, they’ll be ready when school starts next Tuesday.