GLENDALE, Ore. — The Douglas Complex fire has been named the highest priority fire in the nation. It has burn more than 21,400 acres and is at five percent containment.
Seventeen different fire departments from Benton, Lane, Lincoln, Linn, and Marion counties are at the Douglas Complex fire. Fire officials are calling for additional resources to help fight the fire. They are having to call in assistance from across the nation because the resources in Oregon are already in use.
“We’re all strapped for this area all the way to the south,” said Oregon Department of Forestry public information officer, Megan Ehnle. “Arkansas… New Mexico… We’re trying to get as many resources as we can. It’s pretty busy down here so we’re pulling from everywhere we can.”
Dispatching additional resources takes time and planning according to Douglas Complex public information officer, Angie Johnson. To dispatch resources to a fire, officials work through a dispatch system. They try to dispatch locally first. If that does not work, then they send their request to a coordination center in Salem, where the order goes to other districts in the state. If there are no resources in the Pacific Northwest region, then officials must call in fire districts outside the region, which is what the Douglas Complex officials are doing now, according to Johnson.
“There are so many fires going on right now that everybody is looking for the same thing we’re looking for,” said Johnson.
Fire crews from Arizona, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, and other states are on their way to the Douglas Complex. Fire officials say it will take them two to three days to get there.
The National Guard is also being dispatched to the Douglas Complex as well.
“We’re using them for road blocks and just personel,” said Ehnle. They have aircrafts available for us. We’re just thankful that they’re coming so we’re going to try to utilize them as much as possible.”
Fire officials say they’ve spent $2.3 million dollars so far on the Douglas Complex fire.