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Oregon strike teams respond to California fires

Strike teams from 14 Oregon counties, including Jackson and Josephine counties, are headed to California to assist with the fight against two major wildfires.

The Oregon Office of State Fire Marshal announced Sunday it is mobilizing 15 strike teams, comprising 271 personnel, after California requested assistance through the Emergency Management Assistance Compact, which summons state-to-state aid.

The crews and equipment were expected to arrive at their assignments, which they received in Redding from the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection, by midnight Sunday.

One group, or six of the teams, is headed to the Burris fire, which was 250 acres Sunday night, burning in Mendocino County.

The other group, made of the other nine teams, is responding to the Kincade fire in Sonoma County. That fire was 54,298 acres and 5% contained, according to an update at 7 p.m. Sunday.

Other personnel reported from Klamath, Yamhill, Linn, Columbia, Clatsop, Benton, Multnomah, Marion, Washington, Clackamas, Lincoln and Lane counties.

“The Oregon Fire Service is ready to provide assistance to California,” said Chief Deputy State Fire Marshal Mariana Ruiz-Temple in a news release. “The Oregon Fire Mutual Aid System (OFMAS) is robust and prepared to respond quickly when these formal requests are received.”

Oregon’s structural firefighting agencies make up the responding personnel, according to the release. They provide structural firefighting and all-hazards assistance.

The teams were last mobilized by the state fire marshal in November 2018, to help fight the Camp fire in Paradise, California. A couple of months earlier, three teams had responded to the Mendocino Complex fire.

In 2017, 15 teams assisted with the fight against the Thomas fire near Ventura.