Rogue Valley Firefighters Expected to Return Home

Firefighters from multiple agencies throughout Southern Oregon should be heading home on Monday, according to a post from Jackson County Fire District 3.

Posted: Nov 19, 2018 10:55 AM


UPDATE: Firefighters from the Rogue Valley Strike Team helping with Camp Fire efforts in Butte County, California expect to return home on Monday, according to a Facebook post published by Jackson County Fire District 3 (FD3).

"This morning our #FD3 Strike Team Leader informed us that the ST7-Rogue Valley will be returning home today. After 11 days in California, the team is expected back in #Oregon before evening," the fire department posted.

Illinois Valley Fire echoed the news in their own post on Monday morning.

"The team returns with high spirits and a reinforced sense of camaraderie. As a District we are forever grateful to live in an area where partnership, safety, and community are of the highest importance. Thank you to all firefighters for your selflessness and courage through this year’s wildfire season," FD3 said.

(Updated 11/19/18 at 10:50 a.m.)

UPDATE: The Rogue Valley Strike Team remains in Butte County, California as they help with firefighting efforts on the Camp Fire. According to posts from the individual fire departments, the work is hard but is going as well as can be expected.

"Our local firefighters have been down at the Camp Fire in Butte County for just under a week now. While information is limited, we are happy to share that the crew is doing well," Medford Fire-Rescue (MFR) posted on Wednesday.

"We are proud and honored to serve the impacted communities alongside firefighters from different states," MFR continued. "It is a true testament of how we can quickly join together as one to make a difference — no matter which state, county, or city we call home."

Fire District 3 (FD3) reports that they walked more than 240 miles combined during their shift on Monday — searching homes around the burned town of Paradise and conducting "overhaul operations."

"Please continue to keep all firefighters in your thoughts, especially as they are away from home during the holiday season," FD3 said.

Crew from the Illinois Valley Fire District (IVFD) wrote home on Tuesday as well:

“We walked about 16 miles last night clearing homes so they can let the public back in. I can’t begin to describe what we are seeing. We are shocked.”

IVFD said that their firefighters are very tired and sore.

(Updated 11/14/18 at 1:23 p.m.)

UPDATE: Firefighters from the Rogue Valley Strike Team are hard at work helping California crews fight the Camp Fire near Chico, California.

"Today the team is working in the town of Paradise conducting search and overhaul operations," Jackson County Fire District 3 said in a Facebook Post.

The Strike Team has been based in Chico for four days now, and they expect to remain there for 14 days.

According to social media missives from Illinois Valley Fire District, their teams are working 24-hour shifts — calling the fire "really active."

"All divisions and zones are very active with lots of close calls. Everyone is remaining heads up due to the dangers there. Our team is doing good and the apparatus is working great," said Chief Hoke.

(Updated 11/12/18 at 3:15 p.m.)

INITIAL REPORT: Firefighters from across Southern Oregon are moving out on Friday — heading south to help combat the rampaging Camp Fire that has all but destroyed the Northern California town of Paradise.

At the vanguard is the Rogue Valley Strike Team — combining firefighters and engines from Jackson County Fire districts 3 and 5, Ashland Fire & Rescue, Medford Fire-Rescue, Rogue River Fire District, and the Illinois Valley Fire District.

"The team will be reporting to the Silver Dollar Fairgrounds this afternoon," FD3 said in a Facebook post.

According to Medford Fire-Rescue, their assignment upon arrival in Chico could involve structural protection, triage, or any number of other duties.

"We are proud to assist our fire family and communities in need, as they often assist us each summer during our challenging Fire Seasons," MFR said.

The Oregon Department of Forestry (ODF) Southwest— our local wildland firefighters — have made a major contribution as well. Two engines and four firefighters from ODF will be headed to Siskiyou County in order to cover for CAL FIRE crews that have headed south to fight the Camp Fire. One engine is from Medford and the other is from Grants Pass.

This is a developing story, and NewsWatch 12 will have more on this tonight in our 4, 5, and 6 p.m. broadcasts.

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