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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

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Confirmed Cases: 44388

Reported Deaths: 675
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Multnomah9653167
Washington608278
Marion6068109
Umatilla346145
Clackamas330966
Lane250127
Malheur196738
Jackson18657
Deschutes120913
Yamhill102515
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Douglas3738
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Columbia2751
Josephine2733
Coos2621
Clatsop2510
Baker1433
Crook1162
Tillamook750
Curry581
Wallowa512
Lake470
Harney370
Sherman220
Gilliam120
Grant120
Wheeler10
Unassigned00

California Coronavirus Cases

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Confirmed Cases: 928028

Reported Deaths: 17618
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Los Angeles3063277056
Riverside680501319
San Bernardino643671074
Orange597181475
San Diego56369888
Kern34154422
Fresno31321443
Sacramento26018500
Santa Clara24867406
Alameda23775463
San Joaquin21994492
Contra Costa18981246
Stanislaus17872401
Tulare17800292
Ventura14486166
Imperial13038338
San Francisco12320147
Monterey1161695
San Mateo11341161
Santa Barbara9919126
Sonoma9646136
Merced9623155
Kings850283
Solano763476
Marin7121127
Madera509476
Placer435359
San Luis Obispo426532
Yolo326660
Butte314353
Santa Cruz286125
Shasta204631
Napa200916
Sutter189712
San Benito146115
El Dorado13804
Yuba134610
Mendocino115621
Tehama9259
Lassen7721
Lake70417
Glenn6823
Nevada6358
Humboldt57110
Colusa5556
Calaveras34721
Amador33816
Tuolumne2886
Inyo24115
Siskiyou2210
Mono1822
Del Norte1811
Mariposa812
Plumas790
Modoc480
Trinity280
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Sierra60
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