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UPDATE: What Oregon Strike Teams are doing in Southern California

15 Oregon Strike teams are in Southern California helping fight the huge wildfires. Here is a look at what they're doing.

Posted: Dec 7, 2017 12:34 PM
Updated: May 21, 2018 6:27 AM

SALEM, Ore. -- Oregon and California have an Emergency Management Assistance Compact, and that's allowed Oregon teams to travel to southern California and help with the fire fight.  The ORegon Office of State Fire Marshal has activated its Agency Operations Center and deployed 15 strike teams with equipment and personnel who are now actively engaged in assisting with the wildfires in California.

All Oregon resources have been assigned to either the Thomas Fire (seven Oregon strike teams) burning near Ventura, California, or the Creek Fire (eight Oregon strike teams) burning near Sylmar, California. They are very busy currently working on their assignments. Total Oregon deployment: 269 personnel and 75 apparatus.

"Today's forecasted weather will be a test to all firefighters and residents with winds expected at up to 60 mph," said Chief Deputy State Fire Marshal Mariana Ruiz-Temple. "These winds are expected to last through Friday, possibly diminishing over the weekend and picking back up again at the beginning of next week."

California OES reports the Thomas Fire is at 96,000 acres and 5% contained, and the Creek Fire is at 12,605 acres and 10% contained.   It's unclear what exactly started the fires, but they were fanned by the Santa Ana Winds.

California made the request through the Emergency Management Assistance Compact a national state-to-state mutual aid system. The EMAC request is sent directly to Oregon Emergency Management who contact and coordinate with the appropriate Oregon agency to fulfill the requests.

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