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Crews battling Terwilliger Fire receive much needed help

"We just can't afford to have another fire. We have enough fires in the area now and our resources are tapped," said Nick Michael, Public Information Officer with the Terwilliger Fire.

Posted: Aug 25, 2018 9:24 PM
Updated: Aug 25, 2018 9:37 PM

NEAR MCKENZIE BRDIGE, Ore. -- Crews battling the Terwilliger Fire burning in the Willamette Forest got some much-needed help this weekend.

A highly-trained crew has joined the efforts to contain the wildfire, which is now burning more than 4,700 acres.

This fire is one of many burning across the West Coast, so resources are getting stretched thin. To prevent new fires from starting, the Willamette National Forest has issued a campfire ban.

"We just can't afford to have another fire. We have enough fires in the area now and our resources are tapped," said Nick Michael, Public Information Officer with the Terwilliger Fire.

He's been working on the fire most of the week and he said it's been a challenge since it started last Sunday. It's not only because of the steep and unstable ground it's burning on, but because of the lack of resources available.

They only have around 270 firefighters working to contain it.

"Which isn't very many for the size of this fire or the terrain that it's in," said Michael.

He said one hot shot crew arrived Friday night and they got to work building lines Saturday morning: "Four days of asking for shot crews, we finally got our first one in. We have had an outstanding order for six of them...we got one," said Michael.

Michael said the lack of crews available illustrates just how important this forest-wide campfire ban is.

"Whether it's a designated camp ground or remote access camp ground, no open fire allowed," said Michael. It was issued on Friday and he said you can use a gas-powered stove that has a shut-off valve, but that's it.

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