TVF&R called on to fight wildfires in Oregon
As extreme wildland fires continue to scorch the West this fire season, agencies are calling on crews from Tualatin Valley Fire & Rescue for additional aid and support.
On July 10, TVF&R firefighters from cities including Newberg were deployed to Klamath County to help battle the Bootleg Fire.
Some parts of Klamath County were forced to evacuate as the blaze doubled in size over a 24-hour period and now tops more than 250,000 acres, as hot, dry, windy weather persists in the region.
In an effort to bolster the response in snuffing out the massive blaze, Gov. Kate Brown invoked the Emergency Conflagration Act on July 7, then did so again the following week. This is the third time in two weeks Brown has used her authority under the act, following the Jack Creek Fire in Douglas County, which prompted evacuations east of Roseburg.
"Whenever a fire in the state gets too large and they need assistance from additional resources they call … a conflagration of more resources and that's when we can pull resources from around the state and around the nation," TVF&R spokesperson Rio Espinosa said.
Once the governor makes this declaration, the Oregon State Fire Marshal's Office requests each county to deploy whatever resources they have available.
TVF&R serves parts of Washington, Clackamas, Yamhill and Multnomah counties. The agency often receives multiple requests for aid each time the Emergency Conflagration Act is declared.
"I anticipate based on the uptick in fire activity throughout the state that the state fire marshal's office will make additional requests from the counties," TVF&R spokesperson Cassandra Ulven said.
There has been an uptick in deployment requests in the past couple of years as drier, warmer conditions continue to cause alarming effects in not just Oregon, but Washington and California as well, Ulven said. More fires means the need for more personnel and training is greater than ever, she added.
"We've increased the amount of wildland firefighter training that we're doing for our folks, but we aren't at the point yet financially where we'll be adding additional firefighters exclusively for wildfire fighting," she said.
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