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Oregon National Guard Deployment To Fight Wildfires Approaches Record


Sgt. Lucas Hoffman (left) selects a wildfire fighting shirt with Mike Brown of the Oregon Department of Public Safety Standards and Training at the Oregon Public Safety Academy in Salem, Oregon, on Thursday, Aug. 31, 2017.

Sgt. Lucas Hoffman (left) selects a wildfire fighting shirt with Mike Brown of the Oregon Department of Public Safety Standards and Training at the Oregon Public Safety Academy in Salem, Oregon, on Thursday, Aug. 31, 2017.

Connor Radnovich/Statesman Journal

Before an Oregon National Guard airman or soldier can deploy to a wildfire, the state must overcome a number of logistical hurdles. One of the biggest is boots.

It takes about four days for each pair of handmade boots to arrive after a special order is made for every service member — and it could become a record year.

Teams of guardsmen are fighting the Horse Prairie and Chetco Bar fires in the southwestern corner of the state, and another 130 are in training and awaiting assignment this weekend.

With about 500 guardsmen activated, this year already is at the 2015 level for most deployed guardsmen directly fighting wildfires, said Maj. Cory Jones, joint director of military support for the Oregon National Guard. 

Read more at the Statesman Journal.

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