Oregon firefighters return after fighting Alaska wildfires

According to online reports, about 28 areas in Alaska have been on fire since early July, and the Oregon Department of Forestry has stepped in to help.

Posted: Jul 19, 2019 6:08 PM
Updated: Jul 24, 2019 10:46 AM

VENETA, Ore. --  Oregon's fire season is off to a slow start, but other states haven't been so lucky.

According to online reports, about 28 areas in Alaska have been on fire since early July, and the Oregon Department of Forestry has stepped in to help.

RELATED: WILDFIRE SEASON'S SLOW START DOESN'T MEAN FIRE DANGER IS GONE, EXPERTS SAY

ODF sent 28 crew members from all over Oregon to assist with the flames. Oregon is a part of the Northwest Compact, which allows quick and cost-effective resource sharing across the United States and Canada.

Marcus Kauffman, a representative from ODF, said sending crews to Alaska was a great opportunity to prepare them for Oregon's upcoming fire season.

"This really adds to the experience of our firefighters, when they can take their skills and put them into a different circumstance and still be effective," said Kauffman.

The goal was to safely put out the fires, even when they're very small. 

Jessica Dally, who has been with ODF for the last three seasons and just returned from Alaska, said it was one of the best experiences of her life.

"It wasn't something I was expecting as a third-season firefighter," said Dally. "But I definitely felt ready for it, and it definitely was a learning experience. I've taken so much from it."

Alaska, Washington, Oregon, Idaho and Montana are the five states that are part of the Northwest Compact. In Canada, British Colombia, Alberta, Saskatchewan, Yukon and the Northwest Territories are the provinces and territories who take part in the agreement. 

THROWBACK: KLONDIKE FIRE THE LAST STANDING OF JULY 15 LIGHTNING-CAUSED WILDFIRE

The last time firefighters from Alaska were in Oregon, crew members were helping contain the Kondike and Taylor fires during the 2018 fire season. 

Oregon Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 40443

Reported Deaths: 635
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Multnomah8743155
Marion5590106
Washington546973
Umatilla329543
Clackamas299065
Lane221226
Malheur186634
Jackson15556
Deschutes107413
Yamhill95615
Linn76414
Polk63915
Jefferson5979
Morrow5426
Lincoln50913
Union4582
Benton4186
Klamath4013
Wasco33515
Douglas3314
Hood River2721
Josephine2583
Columbia2491
Clatsop2340
Coos2290
Baker1132
Crook872
Tillamook700
Curry561
Wallowa402
Lake340
Sherman180
Harney170
Gilliam110
Grant100
Wheeler10
Unassigned00
Eugene
Overcast
57° wxIcon
Hi: 60° Lo: 48°
Feels Like: 57°
Corvallis
Broken Clouds
54° wxIcon
Hi: 58° Lo: 46°
Feels Like: 54°
Roseburg
Overcast
57° wxIcon
Hi: 67° Lo: 48°
Feels Like: 57°
North Bend
Overcast
55° wxIcon
Hi: 62° Lo: 51°
Feels Like: 55°
KEZI Radar
KEZI Temperatures
KEZI Planner

LATEST FORECAST

Community Events