WHITE CITY, Ore. – After a devastating fire season last year, a local fire district is trying to take steps to be better prepared should the unthinkable happen again. Fire District 3 Chief Robert Horton told NBC5 News communication is key when fighting fires, especially on a large scale. That’s why fire districts within Jackson County are coming together this fire season to create a new command center.
“We needed everything to come into a remote command center so that we could support the firefighters that were out in the field,” said Chief Horton.
He says local crews are already better prepared now than they were last year. Chief Horton and other Rogue Valley fire chiefs are creating a new command center. They believe it is only going to help inter-agency communication.
“If the emergency operations center needs to be stood up, it’ll be a coordinating point between the fire resources and then the county emergency operation center,” said Chief Horton.
It’s currently an RCC classroom on the Fire District 3 campus in White City. In a month, Chief Horton says it will be transformed into a high-tech command center safe from any vegetation, which could carry fire.
Chief Horton said the command center is already within the agency’s budget. They already have the equipment and building staffing will be people already on shift.
He understands Rogue Valley residents might be anxious about another fire season.
“We want to convert some of that anxiety into attentiveness. We want to have a very well-prepared community,” said Cheif Horton.
The majority of fires are started by humans. So make sure you are following the law, that means no burn piles now that it’s fire season.