MEDFORD, Ore. — Firefighters from across the country are massing in the Rogue Valley in anticipation of extreme fire danger conditions over the next week or two. The Oregon Department of Forestry said that the strike team includes members from as far as Arizona and Tennessee, and will be on hand to help ODF resources in the area.
In full, the strike team consists of five Rural Metro Fire Type-6 engines, three of them from Yuma, Tucson, and Maricopa County in Arizona. Two other engines come from Grants Pass, and a local Rural Metro firefighter will be joined by staff from Tennessee.
"Combined with a strike team leader from Yuma, Arizona, this mobilization will provide 11 additional firefighters to the region," ODF said.
The strike team will be based out of the Medford ODF headquarters starting at 10 a.m. on Monday morning. The force will be based in the Rogue Valley, but could be sent anywhere in ODF's Southern Oregon Area, which includes the Western Lane, South Cascade and Southwest Oregon Districts, as well as the Douglas and Coos Forest Protective Associations.
"Resources are limited due to a large amount of incidents on the landscape; with potential lightning in the forecast early next week, prepositioning this strike team ensures added capacity to the area," ODF said. "These resources will be available for up to two weeks beginning Monday, July 19, 2021."
Firefighters from CalFire also stationed themselves in the Ashland area on Friday in anticipation that they might be similarly needed.