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Firefighters return to Oregon for upcoming wildfire season

Two firefighters against a fiery background at night.
A hotshot crew fights the Hermit Peaks fire in New Mexico on May 9. This spring, some Oregon crews travelled to other states to aid in firefighting efforts.

Forestry officials say they’re bringing back firefighters from other parts of the country this week to prepare for Oregon’s wildfire season.

The Oregon Department of Forestry’s move comes after fire season was declared in the state’s central and southern counties, and a weekend heat wave created dry conditions.

The recent wet spring weather delayed Oregon’s fire season, giving Oregon crews time to fight fires in Arizona, New Mexico, Texas, California and Alaska. Blake Ellis is the Fire Operations Manager at the ODF:

“We seized and utilized that opportunity to keep our firefighters trained, keep our firefighters sharp, mentally and physically. All in all we’re hoping to have a better, more well-rounded firefighting force in Oregon when fire season really does turn on here.”

Ellis said that agencies are still looking for recruits in Medford, in the valley and across the state. According to the Inciweb site, there are currently no active wildfires in Oregon.

Nathan Wilk is a freelance reporter and former reporting intern. He began in radio at a young age, serving as a DJ and public affairs host across Oregon. He is a senior at the University of Oregon School of Journalism and Communication.