Oregon firefighters on the front lines in California

KEZI 9 News caught up with Joe Raade, a division chief for South Lane Fire and Rescue, through FaceTime.

Posted: Oct 30, 2019 6:37 PM
Updated: Nov 13, 2019 5:01 AM

EUGENE, Ore. -- As wildfires continue to rage in California, more than 200 Oregon firefighters are working 24-hour shifts to battle the blazes.

KEZI 9 News caught up with Joe Raade, a division chief for South Lane Fire and Rescue, through FaceTime. He and his team have been in California since Sunday.

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Raade said the just arrived in Santa Rosa, California, where officials have set up a base camp for the Kincade Fire in Sonoma County. He said they will be working on the front lines of that fire, which has grown to more than 76,000 acres by Wednesday morning according to Cal Fire.

"We're still focused on structures, but we're not afraid of actually doing some of the wildland work," Raade said. "It all protects the community in the long run."

Radde said before arriving there, they were working on the Burris Fire in nearby Mendocino County. He said they have received a lot of support from people in nearby communities.

"We get a lot of fist pumps, a lot of thumbs up, a lot of horns honking," Raade said. "I think they are glad to see we are here to help."

Raade said they could be working in California for up to two weeks. Along with Lane County, firefighters from Linn, Benton and Douglas counties and more have responded to the fires.

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