County asks Oregon congressman to support Medford base

MEDFORD, Ore. (AP) — Commissioners in Jackson County are asking U.S. Rep. Greg Walden to help keep the Medford air tanker base open.

Giant air tankers and other aircraft fly out of the base to dump retardant on summer wildfires.

The Mail Tribune reports that evaluators are collecting information about air tanker bases in Medford and Klamath Falls for the U.S. Forest Service. A letter from commissioners to Walden says the team is deciding whether to consolidate the bases.

Commissioners told Walden the Medford base is a critical component of the fire safety network for the states of Oregon and California.

A National Air Tanker Base study completed in 1996 said keeping the Klamath Falls base operating was the best choice.