MERLIN, Ore. — Fire crews from all over the world have come to Southern Oregon to help fight the wildfires surrounding the Rogue Valley.
Eight different agencies, including the Oregon Dept. of Forestry, Bureau of Land Management (BLM), Rogue Valley Fire Chiefs Association, Josephine County Sheriff, Josephine County Emergency Management, US Forest Service Rogue River-Siskiyou National Forests, United States National Guard and the American Red Cross.
So far at least 15 different states have sent teams to help fight the Taylor Creek and Klondike Fires, including: Alaska, Arkansas, Alabama, California, Colorado, Florida, Indiana, Kansas, North Carolina, New Mexico, Mississippi, New York, Pennsylvania, Washington, Wisconsin and of course, Oregon.
The Taylor Creek Fire alone has over 1,400 people battling the flames.
“We’re gone from home during this time just like a deployment,” explains Jimmy Takach, a Washington State Air National Guard Technical Sergeant working on the Taylor Creek and Klondike Fires, “I’ve been gone since the end of June from where I live in Washington and been running around here and doing a job that’s fun, at times it’s uncomfortable, sometimes it’s really rewarding.”
It’s not only firefighters that are traveling to work on the fires; meteorologists, National Guardsmen and women, engineers and law enforcement are just a few of the other working parts of the machine that create our fire teams that protect your homes.