Hold on California – Marion County is sending fire help

Three teams of firefighters from Oregon, including one from Marion County, were dispatched Sunday morning to head to northern California to help protect structures and communities threatened by the growing McKinney Fire.

The fire started Friday in an area west of the northern California city of Yreka and just south of the Oregon border. Fire officials reported it had covered more than 51,000 acres by Sunday morning and was burning out of control.

Besides the task force from Marion County, teams from Clackamas and Linn counties were mobilized as well. Task forces typically include a mix of fire equipment and crews from various agencies. They were expected to arrive at their California assignments by late Sunday.

The Marion County task force of 13 firefighters include elements from Woodburn, Stayton, Sublimity, Aurora and Silverton fire departments and Marion County Fire District 1. They took three Type 6 engines designed for wildland fire work, one Type 3 engine designed for heavy terrain, a water tender and a command vehicle, according John Hendricks, public affairs specialist with the state fire marshal’s office.

“Our office has a long-standing mutual aid relationship with Cal OES, and we are more than willing to lend a helping hand,” said Mariana Ruiz-Temple, Oregon state fire marshal. “Last summer, California sent resources to help on the Bootleg Fire in our time of need. The partnership between our two states has the same end goal, protecting communities and saving lives.”

Her office noted that Oregon could spare the help because no task force mobilizations were needed in the state.

The task forces will be in California for up to two weeks.

Fire officials reported nearly 650 people are assigned to the fire, which is burning in the Klamath National Forest. The area is under a fire weather watch through Monday “for abundant lightning on dry fuels. Gusty outflow winds of 30 to 50 mph will be possible near thunderstorm cells,” officials reported.

For the latest information the fire, check the federal Inciweb page HERE

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