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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.

Confirmed Cases: 19978

Reported Deaths: 338
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Multnomah460893
Washington292124
Marion275568
Umatilla214126
Clackamas146438
Malheur71512
Deschutes5558
Lane5403
Jackson4211
Lincoln4149
Yamhill40412
Union3922
Jefferson3323
Morrow3272
Polk30112
Linn26310
Klamath2001
Hood River1780
Wasco1723
Benton1626
Douglas1401
Josephine1082
Coos890
Columbia860
Clatsop830
Crook421
Baker360
Tillamook340
Lake320
Wallowa191
Curry140
Sherman140
Harney100
Gilliam40
Grant20
Unassigned00
Wheeler00

California Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 530606

Reported Deaths: 9808
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Los Angeles1981654827
Riverside38487738
Orange38131665
San Bernardino34237487
San Diego30516568
Kern21433152
Fresno15945157
Alameda12136193
San Joaquin12034187
Santa Clara11030192
Sacramento10174148
Tulare10078193
Imperial9513232
Stanislaus9308135
Contra Costa8324131
Ventura787777
San Francisco708162
Santa Barbara652664
San Mateo5758120
Marin518076
Monterey496634
Merced458351
Kings445356
Solano380638
Sonoma320842
Madera211432
Placer199819
San Luis Obispo197016
Yolo161442
Santa Cruz11964
Butte10128
Napa10079
Sutter8406
San Benito6894
El Dorado6681
Lassen6320
Yuba5334
Shasta4049
Colusa3594
Glenn3462
Mendocino3419
Nevada3161
Tehama2491
Humboldt2454
Lake2111
Mono1461
Tuolumne1442
Amador1370
Calaveras1361
Del Norte900
Siskiyou880
Inyo661
Mariposa592
Plumas330
Trinity50
Modoc40
Sierra30
Alpine20
Unassigned00
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