Linn firefighters assist on Middle Fork fires

About 16 Linn County firefighters comprise a task force dispatched to assist crews battling the 9,000-acre Middle Fork Complex fires burning nine miles north of Oakridge in Lane County.

Some 663 personnel are assigned to the 12-blaze incident, under the management of Pacific Northwest Team 3 Unified Command Incident Commander Randy Johnson and Incident Commander Ian Yocum, of the Oregon State Fire Marshal Red Team.

The on-scene crews include two firefighters, two communication specialists and a Type 6 brush engine from Sweet Home; three members and a Type 3 engine apiece from the Lebanon and Tangent departments; and three firefighters and a water tender from Harrisburg. Albany Fire Department fire marshal Lora Ratcliff said last week that the Albany department sent deputy chief Kyle Romey, public information officer Sandy Roberts and lieutenant Levi Lindsey, as well as “one of our Suburbans with a trailer.”

The largest of the fires are the Gales, Kwis and the Ninemile, which cover 8,847 acres as of Monday, Aug. 16. The overall conflagration is currently 7% contained, according to information provided by Inciweb at press time. The incident was first detected at around 2 p.m. Thursday, July 29.

Level 1, 2 and 3 evacuation notices are now in place.

As of Monday, Aug. 16, Inciweb listed about 22 active fires in the state, the largest being the 100%-contained Bootleg Fire at 413,000-plus acres 28 miles northeast of Klamath Falls.

At last report, the Bruler Fire burning nine miles south of Detroit in Sweet Home Ranger District, active since Monday, July 12, remains at 195 acres and is 75% contained.

– The New Era