About 1,000 members of the Oregon National Guard are helping in the fight against the state’s large wildfires.
The guardsmen, who were deployed from Salem over the weekend, are assisting in numerous ways: enforcing emergency checkpoints; fighting wildfires directly; and water drops via HH-60M Black Hawk helicopters.
Military police helped to enforce a traffic control point near Stayton Tuesday, an area impacted by the 190,000-acre Beachie Creek Fire in Marion County.
There are 12 large wildfires currently burning approximately 875,000 acres in Oregon, according to the Northwest Coordination Center. In Oregon and Washington, combined, there are about 1.5 million acres of active wildland fire.
Three teams of guardsmen, each 125 people strong, trained specifically for wildland firefighting were also deployed over the weekend to fight fires in Clackamas, Klamath and Lincoln counties.
In Oregon and Washington, there are more than 8,700 wildland firefighters and support staff fighting wildfires, according to the latest from the National Interagency Fire Center.
In other news from the Bureau of Land Management, or BLM, in Oregon and Washington, a single flagpole was virtually all that survived fires that ravaged the popular Fishermen’s Bend Recreation Site, located about 30 minutes east of Salem.
The BLM-managed campground featured dozens of campsites, well-groomed hiking trails and tremendous river access, including a boat ramp, in the Cascade foothills.
Upon visiting the site, an American flag that had not been lowered in time for the mandatory evacuation was found proudly flying over the charred ground.
Apart from the flag, “very little else remains at the recreation site,” according to Northwest District Manager Jose Linares.
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