Firefighters from Arkansas battle wildfires in Oregon

by George Jared ([email protected]) 789 views 

Wildfires continue to rage in parts of the western U.S. and firefighters from the Natural State pitched in early this month to help subdue them.

A crew of wildland firefighters with the Arkansas Department of Agriculture’s Forestry Division left Aug. 7 to fight wildfires in Oregon. The crew returned Sunday (Aug. 27) after working in the Wallowa-Whitman National Forest in a 12-person fire suppression module.

Suppression modules typically have at least five firefighters and are primarily used to extinguish and/or prevent the movement of unwanted fire. Due to the recent wildfire activity and drought levels in the region, the module was assembled to assist with fire suppression. The crew worked on the 69-acre Corral Fire in northeast Oregon, which was contained on Aug. 18.

“This region is experiencing drought and their emergency response resources were running thin,” said Wes McKinney, Fire Management Officer for the Forestry Division. “They were seeing multiple fires over multiple days and needed additional support.”

Deric Franks (District 8), Lee Chambers (District 8), Eric Rogers (District 6), and Keaton Phillips (District 6) were the firefighters assigned. Arkansas is divided into eight fire districts.

“We are proud of our staff who volunteered to do hard, labor-intensive work to help safeguard the people of Oregon,” said Arkansas State Forester Kyle Cunningham. “They are honored to use their training and expertise to provide assistance.”