While some 300 firefighters from around Oregon are helping battle raging wildfires in California, fire crews from Curry County will not be part of that effort, according to Brookings Fire Operations Chief Jim Watson.
Watson said he’s coordinating training for fire service operations in Curry County that could be sent to other areas of the county when additional manpower would be needed. He expects that training and certification to be completed in several months.
“Right now, because of our dynamics, we do not have the needed strike team leaders for such assisting teams, but we are in the process of getting the necessary training and certification,” he said. “Two years ago, we entered into a plan to accomplish that.”
Watson said other area volunteer firefighters are also receiving specialized training to be part of a Curry County strike team.
Thousands of people have been forced to evacuate from several wildfires burning in California this week. Hundreds of structures have been destroyed by the flames.
The fires have been fanned by hurricane-force winds. The National Weather Service issued an extreme red-flag warning for parts of central and southern California because of the dangerous conditions.
Fifteen strike teams consisting of members of Oregon’s fire service arrived in California on Oct. 27 and have been assigned to assist with a variety of wildfire incidents threatening structures and property.