By Steven Sandberg
MERLIN, Ore. — Many firefighting teams from Southern Oregon have been scattered across nine states to help battle wildfires, but those crews say they are still ready to go if a major fire were to strike in Southern Oregon.
You name a Western state, and chances are there’s someone from Oregon there fighting a wildfire. With wildfires stretching from Montana to New Mexico, public and private firefighting crews have been sent in to help.
Hundreds of firefighters, several engines, a few hotshot teams, a couple helicopters and dozens of fire managers are currently on scene for fires in 9 states. Grayback Forestry in Merlin has sent more than 100 firefighters, and says more are ready if they get the call, but those crews are still ready if a wildfire breaks out in our region.
The Oregon Department of Forestry is holding back on sending teams because of the rising fire risk in the Rogue Valley and Grayback also has extra crews on hand. The Forest Service estimates that 3,000 firefighters from across Oregon and Washington are on the scenes of those wildfires.
ODF officials say their crews have been dealing with small grass fires in Southern Oregon lately, and says its crews are on hand if a major fire were to spark.