Some Oregon firefighters to return home from California fire lin - KPTV - FOX 12

Some Oregon firefighters to return home from California fire lines

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Firefighters in northern California are slowly getting the upper hand on fires that have ravaged the region.

Two Oregon strike teams will be headed home in the next 24 hours.

The Oregon State Fire Marshal’s Office said more Oregon Strike Team demobilizations are in the planning stages if conditions continue to stabilize.

Authorities said Oregon Strike Teams in southern California will remain deployed as that area is still under a Red Flag Warning and fire officials expect hot, dry weather and significant winds. Oregon resources are expected to remain in that area at least throughout the coming weekend.

Three Oregon Strike Teams - Washington County, Umatilla/Union counties, Linn/Benton counties - have been reassigned to assist with the recently growing Bear Fire in Santa Cruz.

“Everybody is doing good,” said Lt. Matt Mariani with Tualatin Valley Fire & Rescue.

Mariani is one of 30 TVF&R Firefighters who were sent to California.

“There are units from Utah, Colorado, New Mexico, Idaho as well as our five strike teams from Oregon,” Mariani said.

The Oregon Office of Emergency Management said the state has sent 250-300 firefighters to help in California.

“In less than six hours that first night we had 50 fire engines on the road, if they weren’t on the road they weren’t on the road at midnight they were on the road by 6 a.m. and that is awesome,” Kelly Jo Craigmiles with OEM said.

“It feels really good to be able to give them any kind of help we can,” Mariani said, “especially since Cal Fire sent many resources to the Chetco Bar Fire that we had.”

Craigmiles said this is the largest contingency of firefighters ever sent out of the state.

“It is not the first time we have sent assets,” Craigmiles said. "Before it has only been onesies and twosies, a couple people here, a couple people there, we have never deployed these many assets ever.”

Firefighters in Oregon said there is a system in place to make sure no departments are stretched thin who have sent engines and firefighters to California.

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