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Big Windy Team Packs Up

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MERLIN, Ore. – Sunday is the last full day for the Big Windy camp.

The third and final type one incident management team on that complex leaves Monday. Now, the rest of the work gets turned over to the Department of Forestry.

This is the third type one team to occupy that camp during the more than five weeks of firefighting, and the last 72-hours are shaping up to be hectic.

“We don’t want to leave them a bunch of work, a bunch of trash, a bunch of line that needs to be rehabilitated,” said logistics officer Zeph Cunningham. “We want to leave them a good, clean package when we leave.”

The packing process involves 280 people on the firelines, 20 trucks with drivers, and another team of 32 people at the camp. Between them, a whopping 81 miles of hose has to be rolled up, along with everything that goes with it.

“The tanks that put water in the hose, the pumps to pump it, all the fittings and nozzles and hardware that goes along with that,” said Cunningham. “The task is pretty enormous.”

By the end of the day Monday, everything will be shipped to the regional supply cache in Redmond. All that will remain is an empty, re-seeded field – a sign that the fire is slowly sputtering out.

“The fire is at a point where we can downsize, make a smaller footprint, cut costs – obviously there’s cost associated with all this,” said Cunningham.

At 82% containment, the rest of the work here gets handed to the Department of Forestry, and this crew moves on to more fires.