Oregon National Guard members activated to help wildfire fightin - KPTV - FOX 12

Oregon National Guard members activated to help wildfire fighting efforts

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JOHN DAY, OR (KPTV) -

After Gov. Kate Brown toured the largest and most destructive wildfire in Oregon, she announced Oregon National Guard members would begin training to assist in the firefighting efforts.

Brown toured the area around the Canyon Creek Complex fire near John Day on Wednesday. She had a private meeting with the dozens of people whose homes have been destroyed by the fire.

"It is a devastation up there, it's really horrible and one of the places we stopped, the home was completely devastated," she said. "The fireplace was left standing, there was a slide that was left standing and there was a bedframe that was left standing, and there was huge pieces of cinder in the yard, so the home must have gone up like that."

The Canyon Creek Complex fire has burned more than 48,000 acres as of Wednesday evening with around 650 firefighters working to control it.

The fire is the number one priority nationally for resources.

Brown said 125 National Guard soldiers will begin training this week at the Department of Public Safety Standards and Training in Salem.

The plan is to have them join firefighters within two weeks.

The National Guard has already been involved in firefighting efforts, with four Blackhawk helicopters assisting crews on the ground.

Brown said many of the families affected by the Canyon Creek Complex fire told her they were concerned about the lack of protocols in place to help them during this situation. She said state and local agencies will be working together to prevent that from happening again.

The fire was started by lightning on Aug. 12.

"My heart goes out to the families over the loss of their homes," Brown said.

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