JACKSON, Wyo. — “You help with their fire, they’ll help with yours.” That’s the mentality when it comes to sharing resources in the western U.S. as hotspots like California and Oregon tax firefighting resources to the limit.
Fire support from Wyoming was recently deployed to nearby states to assist with major fires there. As reported earlier, the Wyoming National Guard was called out to help fight fires in California.
More recently, strike forces comprised of local resources were deployed to Oregon on September 12. Wyoming State Forestry Division (WSFD), in coordination with two other states and five Wyoming county/city fire organizations, dispatched strike teams to support the State of Oregon in its fire resource needs.
Seven wildland fire engines and three support vehicles with 27 firefighters are headed to the Echo Mountain Fire in western Oregon. Kansas, South Dakota, and Wyoming each contributed one engine. Jackson Hole Fire and EMS, Fremont County, Campbell County, and Rock Springs City Fire Department also sent one engine each. The strike team leaders were provided by Sublette County Unified Fire and WSFD.
This force was assembled utilizing the Great Plains Interstate Compact which allows for rapid deployment of state and county resources. The strike team will be on assignment for approximately 18 days to help Oregon fight its numerous fires across the state.
“No single state or agency has all the resources needed to deal with fires of this magnitude,” said Wyoming State Forester Bill Crapser. “Wyoming has received lots of resources over the years from other states, and are glad that we are able to send support to them when needed.”
Wyoming’s wildland fire season has been fairly quiet so far this year, though a new startup was just discovered in the Medicine Bow National Forest in southeast Wyoming.
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