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20 Local Firefighters Battle Flames in Southern California

20 Firefighters from Jackson County are in Ventura, California battling the Thomas Fire.

Posted: Dec 8, 2017 6:10 PM
Updated: Dec 8, 2017 6:27 PM

Medford, OR. -- 20 Firefighters from Jackson County are in Ventura, California battling the Thomas Fire. Medford Fire, Fire District 3, Rogue River, Applegate, and Illinois Valley all sent crews and engines. 

Today Medford Fire-Rescue told NewsWatch12 sending crews to California in December is unprecedented. They say although 20 crew members are down there, it won't affect their ability to protect us here. 

"The amount of smoke is just tremendous. We have a lot ahead of us," says Battalion Chief Tom McGowan. 

Fire crews say this isn't the first time California and Oregon have worked together. They say sharing resources helps take the weight off one organization.

"For the Chetco fire, California sent resources to help us there. Now we're kind of reciprocating that, sending resources down to California," says Medford Fire-Rescue Deputy Chief, Justin Bates. 

Bates says they have plenty of other firefighters that fill the open shifts, and they get overtime. He says it's much like if a crew member was sick or went on vacation.

"Since it is in the middle of winter it's kind of a slow period for us here. So we're glad to be able to send resources down there and not impact what our service delivery is here," says Bates. 

Bates says California reimburses the fire stations for their engines and crews, that way Medford doesn't have to pick up the costs.

The crews are expected to return in two weeks.

Oregon Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 193732

Reported Deaths: 2572
CountyCasesDeaths
Multnomah38352591
Washington25592233
Marion22026306
Clackamas17440214
Lane13007148
Jackson10862139
Deschutes896274
Umatilla820284
Linn492969
Yamhill446376
Klamath441164
Polk375752
Malheur351863
Josephine334570
Douglas327271
Benton310019
Jefferson219837
Coos206633
Columbia174427
Union144823
Lincoln137921
Wasco137728
Hood River118730
Crook111322
Morrow110716
Clatsop9858
Baker95414
Tillamook6493
Curry6469
Grant5095
Lake4517
Harney3448
Wallowa1845
Gilliam631
Sherman581
Wheeler321
Unassigned00

California Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 3764405

Reported Deaths: 62573
CountyCasesDeaths
Los Angeles123645624067
Riverside2994554594
San Bernardino2967824715
San Diego2785913729
Orange2709835026
Santa Clara1190642096
Kern1091771374
Sacramento1048401686
Fresno1018381688
Alameda879401657
Ventura810011013
San Joaquin732201391
Contra Costa68741805
Stanislaus621421061
Tulare49654839
Monterey43613383
San Mateo42038568
San Francisco36720544
Santa Barbara34337456
Solano32953252
Merced31898460
Sonoma30035320
Imperial28443726
Kings22989246
Placer22679292
San Luis Obispo21308260
Madera16462242
Santa Cruz16264207
Marin14056227
Yolo13910210
Shasta12152226
Butte12026199
El Dorado10168112
Napa987082
Sutter9433112
Yuba626847
San Benito606563
Lassen570624
Tehama557262
Nevada474275
Tuolumne413166
Mendocino410149
Humboldt404641
Amador365847
Lake347643
Glenn239125
Colusa223416
Siskiyou223424
Calaveras212954
Inyo142838
Del Norte13938
Mono12844
Plumas7106
Modoc4994
Mariposa4487
Trinity4005
Sierra1120
Alpine880
Unassigned520
Medford
Partly Cloudy
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Brookings
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Thunderstorm threat, critical fire danger this afternoon
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