While the wildfire crisis is entering its second week in Clackamas, Marion and Linn counties, a small contingent from Canby Fire District was deployed Monday night to a new and destructive conflagration on the other side if the state.
Paramedics Division Chief Matt Dale, along with a type six brush rig, were dispatched from Canby Fire to lead a task force consisting of units from Canby, Lake Oswego, Tualatin Valley Fire & Rescue and Polk County.
“They are over there with an Idaho and a Deschutes task force,” Fire Division Chief Matt English told The Canby Current. “The type one overhead team is out of Michigan.”
The team departed for the Brattain Fire near Paisley at 8:30 p.m. Monday. With detours, it was estimated it would take at least six hours to reach Lake County.
Governor Kate Brown had, barely an hour earlier, approved an emergency conflagration declaration for the Brattain Fire.
“The situation remains very dangerous in Paisley,” said Governor Brown. “Wind continues to fuel these wildfires, with devastating consequences across the region. People’s homes, lives, land, and safety are at risk.”
The Brattain Fire is currently burning on the Paisley Ranger District of the Fremont-Winema National Forest.
The fire was discovered Monday and is confirmed human caused. It is currently burning approximately 10 miles south of Paisley in sagebrush-juniper with stringers of ponderosa pine in steep, rugged terrain with limited access points and high winds.
The governor’s declaration authorizes the Oregon Office of State Fire Marshal to mobilize resources to assist local resources battling the fire.
In a related move with more implications for Clackamas County, the gov also requested a Presidential Disaster Declaration for the ongoing wildfires in Oregon. The request follows a federal emergency declaration that was granted on Sept. 10, and will bring much needed resources to Oregon’s response and recovery efforts.
“Oregon is strong. Oregon is resilient. But to fight fires of this scale, we need all the help we can get,” she said. “I am grateful for this federal support, which will help us to both address urgent disaster response needs on the ground, and move towards recovery.”
The request includes operational response support, such as additional communications resources, damage assessment teams, search and rescue (SAR) support, debris management, as well as shelter and medical assistance. Individual assistance for the counties and tribes was also included in the request.
Supplemental information from the governor’s office: