National Guard to support Crater Lake fires

Salem, Ore.- Governor Kate Brown has authorized an additional 125 members of the Oregon National Guard to assist in the fire suppression and provide additional resources for fire fighters dealing with wild fires across the state, primarily around Crater Lake.

In a statement issued on Saturday, Governor Brown said, “As several quickly-burning fires spread throughout Oregon, and as state and local authorities prepare for the total solar eclipse, we need to be ready to put more boots on the ground.”

The Oregon Guard volunteers are currently being trained and brought up to speed on fire fighting methods before they deploy this Wednesday to help assist fire fighters fighting the Spruce Lake and Blanket Creek fires around Crater Lake.

Commander Ryon Skiles of the Medford National Guard notes that once guard volunteers are selected, they are sent to the Department of Public Safety Standards and Training in Salem where they receive “at least a three day training, get spun up on the fire fighting basics and how they can support the actual fire fighters there.”

“They get equipped with everything they need to be out on the fire and they’re there for at least 14 days supporting fire fighters,” said Skiles.

Eight Oregon Guard volunteers out of 150 guardsmen who volunteered from Southern Oregon were chosen. They have already begun their training and will deploy with the rest of the troops to support first responders by August 16th.

The Spruce Lake and Blanket Creek fires still continue but fire fighters are beginning to secure fire lines with the help of aircraft. The Spruce Lake is now 55 percent contained and the Blanket Creek, 58 percent.

 

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