Multiple fire agencies open “joint information center” in Medford


Medford, Or.- Fire agencies all over Oregon are coming together to keep the public informed about the three major fires in Southern Oregon.

“Some of the worst problems that we have when emergencies happen is misinformation or disconnected information,” Kris Eriksen, manager of the Medford Joint Information Center said.

Right now more than 138,000 acres of land are on fire in Southern Oregon, including the Chetcho Bar fire in Brookings, the Miller Complex in the Applegate, and the High Cascade Complex in Prospect.

“We’re trying to provide the overview picture the 30,000 foot not the one foot view of what’s going on in Southwest Oregon,” said Eriksen.

Primary responders to the fires have established a joint information center in Medford.

“This is an enormous inter-agency effort,” Eriksen said.

Each agency provides updated information to the center so the center can relay that on to the public.

“A (joint information center) allows us ensure we have the same numbers the same information,” Eriksen said.

While each agency has their own mandate they all come together for one cause.

“Collectively together the mandate is we want to be aggressive about fighting fire but we want to do it safely.”

Their number one priority is to keep people safe and informed if anything changes.

“Moving the public to the right level of concern is part of the job for any information team,” Eriksen said. “All … that inter-agency cooperation is critical and it has been amazing on all three of these fires. I mean really working well together to make sure what they do what’s best for the people involved.”

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