Columbia County crews dispatched to California
Columbia County fire crews were dispatched over the weekend to help with firefighting efforts in California as several deadly wildfires burn.
A fire engine task force was sent to central California on Saturday, July 28, and assigned to fight the Mendocino Complex fire, just outside of Ukiah and south of the Mendocino National Forest.
The complex fire is composed of two different blazes, the Ranch Fire and the River Fire, according to a fact sheet from the state fire agency, Cal Fire, As of Monday morning, July 30, the fires burned more a total of more than 55,000 acres, and total containment was reported at 10 percent. The fires are threatening 10,200 structures, and six residences have been destroyed. No injuries or fatalities were reported. The cause of the blaze is still under investigation, but the wildfire began on Friday afternoon. A series of mandatory evacuations were in place Monday for residents in the area.
A total of 31 fire crews are fighting the blaze, with 1,379 fire personnel on scene. Nearly 120 fire engines, 22 water tenders, 37 dozers and six helicopters have been assigned to the blaze.
A total of three volunteers and four career firefighters from Columbia County are fighting the fire with brush engines from Columbia Rive Fire and Rescue, Scappoose Fire District and Mist-Birkenfeld Fire District.
Crews are assisting with structure protection and have been working on fire line construction and supporting burnout operations, a release from CRFR stated Monday afternoon.
California fire officials requested assistance from Oregon through the Emergency Management Assistance Compact, a national state-to-state mutual aid system, over the weekend according to media releases from the Oregon State Fire Marshals Office.
On July 28, Gov. Jerry Brown of California, declared a state of Emergency for Mendocino, Lake and Napa counties are multiple wildfire are raging across the state. Earlier the week a state of emergency was also declared in Shasta County. The deadly Carr Fire in northern California has destroyed hundreds of homes and claimed the lives of six people so far.
Columbia County crews recently assisted with firefighting efforts with the Substation Fire in Oregon in mid-July.