GREENSPRINGS, Ore. – Greensprings Fire Chief Gene Davies described a “chaotic and frightening” situation on July 31st, when his volunteer fire crew found themselves in the path of the rapidly growing Oregon Gulch Fire.
“We were in the wrong place, so we repositioned to begin our initial attack on the fire, and the wind shifted a second time and we had to reposition again,” he said.
Davies and his team were the first on the scene of the Oregon Gulch Fire as it broke out more than a week ago. As his team evaded the fire, their attention turned to getting residents evacuated. The firefighters met many neighbors face-to-face, and had people begin calling their neighbors, telling them to get out.
The Greensprings Rural Fire District helped battle the fire on the initial attack, but have been able to scale back their involvement as crews from Oregon and California take over the main firefight. As the 16-member volunteer fire department has caught their breath, they have been met with gratitude from the tiny community in rural Jackson County.
“It’s all we have,” Davies said. “Support from our community is what keeps our fire department going.”
The community has stepped up to show their support of the firefighters. The West Coast Country Music Festival at the Greensprings Inn on Saturday will raise money for the department, and people continue to make signs thanking the fire crews.
“We really love our firefighters and we appreciate what they’re doing,” said Diarmuid McGuire, owner of the Greensprings Inn.