Firefighters from around the country make up strike team assisting ODF

MEDFORD, Ore. —ODF ordered a strike team and Rural Metro firefighters were able to fill that need. ODF says the help couldn’t come at a better time.

‘”It took us about 14 hours to drive up here,” said Tim Soule, Strike Leader.

A strike team making the trek from all over to help out southern Oregon. Its goal, to provide additional resources to many areas in extreme fire danger.

“There are so many resources out on the large fires so the best way to fight a fire is to keep it a small fire and that’s what we’re here to do,” Soule.

The strike team is made up of 5 Rural Metro Fire Type 6 engines. Tim Soule has been fighting fires for 25 years.

“We’re firefighters and that’s what we’re here to do, we have a desire to help and be of service and anytime you have the opportunity to go and provide that support for any community is a gift,” said Soule.

Members come from as close as Grants Pass to Arizona, and as far as Tennessee.

The mobilization provides 11 additional firefighters to the region. The group has been working to better understand the landscape, and strategizing how to attack a fire if it happens.

“We’ll train and keep each other sharp so that when we do get a fire we’re ready to go,” said Soule.

ODF says the region is in a Preparedness Level 5. That means in the event of a fire, crews may have to wait longer for resources to become available.

“They’re already here and they are ready to go and that’s the value this adds to this because finding resources right now in this PO 5 that we have is really hard to do so having those extra resources up front makes all the difference,” said Natalie Weber spokesperson for ODF.

The team will be based at ODF’s headquarters in Medford for the next 2 weeks. However it says that could be extended.

“We’re happy to be able to host them and we’re very thankful that they’re here and willing to help,” said Weber.

California firefighters are also stationed in Ashland for wildfire readiness.

NBC5 News Reporter Jenna King is a Burbank native. She graduated from the University of Oregon with a degree in Broadcast Journalism and a minor in Sports Business. During her time at the U of O, she was part of the student-run television station, Duck TV. She also grew her passion for sports through interning with the PAC 12 Network. When Jenna is not in the newsroom you can find her rooting for her hometown Dodgers, exploring the outdoors, or binging on the latest Netflix release.
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