Medford Airtanker base continues operation

The Medford Airtanker Base serves 5 counties in Southern Oregon: Jackson, Josephine, Curry, Coos, and Douglas county.

But it’s impact isn’t only local.

As a federally owned base… It also provides service nationally.

“We supply the need when its required by the boots on the ground,” this said by Ben Crittenden, assistant manager on base.

The US Forest Service says the base is a key element of fighting wildfires.

With that… shifts are long and breaks are rare.

“14 days back to back, before we’re given a one day to two day rest.”

So far in 2020, the base has responded to 9 wildfires in the region, supplying 44 loads and 105,000 gallons of flame retardant.

“Not only do we fight fire aggressively, we also train aggressively to make sure we’re all within the same pace so we can do the job… And perform the job well.”

While coronavirus is effecting firefighters on the ground, it hasn’t changed much at the base, but precautions are being made to keep day to day operations going.

“We’re just taking a little extra time. We’re trying everything we can do to keep each other safe and healthy and be able to serve the community,” says Crittenden.

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