Following the devastating and historic wildfires of 2020, many Clackamas County residents have wildfire safety on the top of their minds. Clackamas fire officials say they're better prepared.
Residents gathered Tuesday, July 20, at Eagle Creek Station 18, to get their questions answered regarding evacuations, notifications and resources in a town hall led by Clackamas Fire Chief Nick Browne.
"I think we had a lot of great questions and it's obvious there is a lot of fear from what happened last year and it's warranted," Browne said. "What I am trying to do is eliminate that fear."
Browne talked about the lessons they learned in 2020 and how they're going to tackle fires this seaon.
"We are better prepared this year to mitigate what we have to face," he said.
With Sandy Fire, Eagle Creek Station 18 is now staffed 24/7. They added a new brush truck, and Clakamas Fire is the first municipal fire department in Oregon to have a hand crew.
"The biggest thing for us, also, is that Type 2 hand crew that I discussed, called Crew 30," Browne said. "It's the first of its kind for a municipal fire department like us."
This season it's warmer and drier than usual. Before the fire season even started, the Neibur Fire near Oregon City in April prompted evacuations.
"Fire danger is unfortunately going to worsen as we progress through August into September," he said.
Officials reminded everyone to create a defensible space around their home and to have a plan.
"Ready, set, go — that's a 3-step approach to being ready and prepared for wildfire," said Deputy Fire Marshal Kari Shanklin.
Browne said he had one specific goal for this town hall.
"I ultimately wanted to get to know the community and wanted them to know who Clackamas Fire is, where we are going and they have a standing army of 404 ready to be here for them," he said.
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