Gov. Kate Brown employs Oregon National Guard members to aid in the effort against the blazes.
BY JACOB PALMER | DIGITAL NEWS EDITOR
Gov. Kate Brown will employ National Guard members to aid in the effort against the wildfires plaguing eastern and central Oregon.
Approximately 125 enlisted members will receive training in Salem this week.
Among the state’s fires, the Canyon Creek blaze, near John Day, has consumed 48,000-plus acres. The Cornet-Windy Ridge fire, burning in parts of Oregon and Idaho, has burned more than 100,000 acres.
“Oregon National Guard members will join first responders who are working tirelessly to battle these unpredictable wildfires,” Brown said in a release. “We have weeks of fire season left, and it is incumbent upon us to make sure that above all else, we continue to protect the public’s safety.”
(SOURCE: Portland Business Journal)
With much of the dry regions of the West Coast ablaze, Federal resources to fight the wildfires are thinning.
“Nationally and regionally there’s more demand for trained and qualified fire crews and for experienced fire line leaders and supervisors than we’re currently able to fill,” [Northwest Interagency Coordination Center spokeswoman Koshare] Eagle said.
On Wednesday morning, she said there were 170 requests nationwide for fire crews — but only four were available.
Currently, there are 35 wildfires between Oregon and Washington, prompting the chief of the US Forest Service to say “this is kind of the new normal.”
[Tom] Tidwell said the succession of intense fire seasons shows the need for thinning forests to make the landscapes less vulnerable to fire.
“This is kind of the new normal,” Tidwell said. “It seems like almost every year we get to this point and it’s really tight for resources for a few weeks.”
(SOURCE: Associated Press)
With wind and hot weather in Thursday’s forecast, relief does not appear imminent.