Oregon State Fire Marshal Protecting Communities with Air Tankers and Task Forces Mobilized to Two Different Wildfires

Posted on August 23, 2023

Oregon State Fire Marshal – 08/23/23 6:08 PM

SALEM, Ore. – With the state of Oregon entering the heart of wildfire season, the Oregon State Fire Marshal (OSFM) mobilized suppression resources through its Response Ready Oregon initiative to keep fires small and protect communities.

The Liberty fire broke out near Salem, OR, prompting evacuations on Wednesday afternoon. With the risk to life and property, OSFM has mobilized multiple aerial firefighting resources, including two single engine air tankers (SEATs), one type one helicopter, and an air attack resource. Getting aircraft up and to these fires immediately is critical in supporting the local firefighters on the ground. This is possible through our Response Ready Oregon initiative and agreements with the Oregon Department of Forestry.

Additionally, with the Smith River Complex growing, OSFM is mobilizing two structural task forces to Josephine County through immediate response starting Thursday, August 24th. The task forces are from Marion and Polk counties. These firefighters and equipment will be mobilized as surge resources to bolster capacity in Oregon communities impacted by the Smith River Complex.

“The new response tools our agency has been deploying are making a difference in protecting Oregon communities,” Oregon State Fire Marshal Mariana Ruiz-Temple said. “We have seen the power of the Oregon Fire Mutual Aid System protecting communities during this wildfire season. We are thankful to the Oregon fire service and our Oregon Department of Forestry partners for the work they have accomplished so far this summer.”

As of Wednesday evening, the Liberty Fire is estimated at 10 acres; additionally, the Smith River Complex is made up of 27 wildfires, burning in two states, and is estimated at 47,277 acres.

The Marion County Sheriff’s Office has level 3 evacuation notices for those near the Liberty Fire. For updates, follow their social media: https://www.facebook.com/MCSOInTheKnow.

More information on the Smith River Complex is available on Inciweb: https://inciweb.nwcg.gov/incident-information/casrf-smith-river-complex.

ABOUT RESPONSE READY OREGON 

The OSFM’s Response Ready Oregon initiative made these firefighting resources possible. It was launched through Immediate Response, a tool developed with funding from Senate Bill 762 (2021). The goal is to boost response to wildfires and keep fires small and away from communities.

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