Published August 26, 2022

Lightning storms this season brought dozens of ignitions across the state, including holdover fires that sparked weeks after the strikes touched dry ground. Under these conditions, readiness and inter-organizational support are critical. The Lomakatsi Type 2 Hand Crew and Type 6 Engine Crew mobilized with other local and out-of-state resources to cover needs across Oregon this summer.

The hand crew is on site at the Cedar Creek fire east of Oakridge on the Willamette National Forest, joining about 800 firefighters, support personnel, and Hot-Shot crews that are removing hazardous trees, clearing fire lines and trails, fire-wrapping bridges and guard stations, creating fuel breaks, and managing controlled burnouts. Here’s a photo of the hand crew prior to their dispatch on Monday. The engine crew is camped at the Rum Creek fire in rural Josephine County, patrolling road systems to watch for spot fires and bolster containment lines.

This season, the hand crew has responded as the Initial Attack force on several small fires, performed Hot-Shot crew duties on fire complex assignments, and worked directly with aerial resources on ground communications and bucket work. In mid-August, they finished their fire line shift on the Potter and Windigo incidents. In the shop, our mechanics and operations staff are keeping vehicles and equipment running smooth, and maintaining response readiness.

A heartfelt thank you to all the teams working in dangerous conditions to protect communities and ecosystem services this fire season. We send our condolences to the family and friends of Logan Taylor and Collin Hagan, who gave their lives in the line of duty on Oregon fires this summer. Our thoughts are with every brave person who steps out to the fire line.

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