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SHFAD part of local strike team responses to California


October 18, 2017

Photo courtesy of Lebanon Fire Department A SWEET HOME engine sits at a staging area in Northern California after local firefighters responded to aid in battling the blazes that have devastated the area.

Sweet Home Fire and Ambulance has sent six firefighters in two strike teams to California to help in the battle against wildland fires there.

The first group left for Santa Rosa, in Northern California, with a fire engine on Oct. 10. Members of the team are Jared Richey, Adam Hummer, J.T. Weld and Josh Starha.

The second team took a brush rig to Chino, Calif., east of Los Angeles, on Oct. 13. Members of the team are Zach Lincoln and John Simms, along with a Tangent firefighter.

They can be gone for up to two weeks, said Shannon Pettner, a SHFAD battalion chief. The first crew is working in structural protection, mop-up, structural triage and structural preparation. The second group is an initial attack unit, responding to brush fires.

Other Mid-Valley fire departments sending crews include Philomath Fire and Rescue, Lebanon Fire District, Corvallis Fire Department and Albany Fire Department.

California is continuing to reach out to states to bring in additional resources, according to the Oregon State Fire Marshal. In addition to Oregon, resources have come from Washington, Nevada, Idaho, Utah, and Arizona.

California made the request for assistance through the Emergency Management Assistance Compact a national state-to-state mutual aid system. The EMAC request is sent directly to Oregon Emergency Management which then contacts and coordinates with the appropriate Oregon agency to fulfill the requests; in this case the OSFM.

Local departments are reimbursed by the State of Oregon, which is in turn reimbursed by the State of California.


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