Oregon Department of Forestry gets new chopper

, Written by Kassi Nelson, Posted: Sun, July 6 2014 at 6:20 PM, Updated: Sun, July 6 2014 at 8:35 PM

Central Point, Ore. -- The Oregon Department of Forestry is gearing up for what's expected to be a busy fire season.

They received their first helicopter Friday morning, contracted out from a local company.

ODF Fire Specialist, Brian Ballou, said the choppers are an essential part of the initial attack when it comes to fighting wildfires.

"Sometimes it beats the engines there and that's good. It gives us a good size up to what the fire's doing and whether we need some additional equipment," Ballou said.

The helicopters can also be used to transport firefighters and equipment and have water buckets.

ODF will have a total of four helicopters to work with. Two more will be stationed at the Medford office and one in Grants Pass.

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About the Author

Kassi Nelson

NBC5 News reporter Kassi Nelson was born and raised in Nebraska. She graduated from the journalism school at University of Nebraska Lincoln where she studied broadcasting.

She also studied philosophy in the Czech Republic. Kassi has visited nine other countries including Sochi, Russia, where she reported on the preparations for the 2014 Olympic Games.

She loves skiing and live concerts!

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