State Fire Marshal Mobilizes Resources to California Wildfire Response for Second Time in 2020

The Oregon Office of State Fire Marshal (OSFM) is mobilizing Oregon firefighting resources to assist with the coordinated response to California wildfires, following a request for state-to-state assistance made by California to Oregon.

The OSFM is activating its Agency Operations Center and will be sending six task forces with equipment and personnel to join ongoing firefighting efforts. The task forces were formed on Thursday and are deploying today at 6 a.m.

The mobilized strike teams will be sent from the following counties: Clatsop, Lane, Linn, Marion, Washington, and Yamhill.

As of Thursday, California was currently managing 24 major wildfires across the state, having already recorded 3.9 million acres burned this year, impacting thousands of residents and having incidents threaten lives and structure.

“The Oregon Fire Mutual Aid System (OFMAS) can easily mobilize 20 structural task forces at a given time, so we feel confident that the state has ample structural firefighting resources in-state in case any future demands arise that threaten communities,” said State Fire Marshal Mariana Ruiz-Temple.

The Pacific Northwest effective yesterday has stepped down to preparedness level 3, meaning the potential for emerging significant wildland fires is normal for the time of year, and there is an adequate availability of firefighting resources and decreased fire activity in the state.

California made its request through the Emergency Management Assistance Compact (EMAC), a national state-to-state mutual aid system. The EMAC request is sent directly to the Oregon Office of Emergency Management. The requests allow for the OSFM to mobilize resources through the OFMAS. The task forces are comprised of Oregon’s structural firefighting agencies, which provide structural firefighting and all-hazards assistance.

Oregon’s structural firefighters mobilized by the OSFM were last sent to California on Aug. 19 to respond to the LNU Lighting Complex, sending three task forces with more than 50 personnel for a two-week deployment to the Napa Valley to support the coordinated response, returning to Oregon on Sept. 2.

This is the fourth year in a row that the OSFM has mobilized resources through the OFMAS and deployed them to support firefighting efforts in California, following requests made through the EMAC.