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Press Release
August 13, 2001
State of emergency declared by Governor - National Guardsmen prepared to fight wildfires
Salem, Ore. - At 3:30 p.m., Governor John A. Kitzhaber, MD, declared a state of emergency, allowing the Oregon Army National Guard to deploy for fighting state-wide forest fires. Currently waiting to depart are four helicopters, including the UH-60L Firehawk, and 200 previously-trained personnel. After a brief firefighting refresher course, Guardsmen will deploy to Quartz fire near Medford and the Crane Prairie complex southwest of Bend.
The Quartz fire is burning 10 miles southwest of Medford, and is threatening owl habitat, wetlands and commercial timber stands. Steep slopes and a dense stand of dry fuels are making containment difficult. The 4,000 acre fire has destroyed one structure and is threatening others.
The Crane Prairie complex fires are burning around the Round Mountain lookout. The lookout has been evacuated, and there are no structure threats at this time. There are over 30 fires in the area, consuming approximately 350 acres.
Last week, members of the National Guard's 1042nd Medical Company deployed the Firehawk and a Blackhawk with water bucket and aided the Portland Fire Bureau with the fire on the bluff above Swan Island.
For more information contact:
Kay Fristad
Colleen Breeden
(503) 584-3917