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Mail Tribune 100, July 29, 1921

The following news items were drawn from the archives of the Mail Tribune 100 years ago

July 29, 1921

AIR PATROL IN OREGON CALLED OFF

Forest Fire Patrol Planes Are Ordered to Stop Until Further Notice — Gas Shortage and Red Tape Given as the Cause — Medford May Be Retained as Base.

Portland, Ore., July 29.— Shirley Buck, assistant district forester, announced today the forest service had decided to suspend airplane patrol in Oregon because of the difficulty in getting requisitions for gasoline approved. These requisitions must go through departmental routine, he explained.

“This is a particularly bad stage of the fire season for anything like this to occur,” said Mr. Buck. “Underbrush and head logs and trees in the forests are now nearly all dry, and without patrol of the areas it will be possible for forest fires to gain great headway before being discovered.”

Airplanes have been spotting on the average of two or three fires a day, said Mr. Buck, most of which have been small, and by means of wireless reports they have been quickly reached and extinguished before they could do much damage.

...

No planes will be seen flying about Medford and the valley for the next few days at least, as orders have been received at the aviation sub-base here to the effect that the daily air forest patrol service in Oregon and Washington states has been temporarily discontinued. The reason for this discontinuance is not known to Lieutenant Samuel Carter, in command of the local base, nor to Lieutenant Gruever, the forest service liaison officer of the local base, as the orders received here did not state the reason. It is presumed, however, that the economy and army reduction program has something to do with the matter.

Another thing of much interest to local people is that although orders were received at the Medford base last week to have the planes and equipment removed to the Eugene base, the local base is to continue business only as an oil and gas station for the planes which would cover this territory daily from Eugene, the move has not yet been made, and no orders have been received as to the time when it will be. In fact it is understood that orders have been received here to continue the base as usual until further orders are received in regard to the removal.

In this connection it is interesting to note that local influences have been at work with the Oregon senators to have the Medford base retained.

— Alissa Corman; acorman@rosebudmedia.com