As wildfire season approaches, the Oregon State Fire Marshal has allocated $6 million in grants to help fire agencies hire more employees when they’ll need them most.
OSFM announced that 185 fire agencies across the state received up to $35,000 from the 2023 Wildfire Season Staffing Grant. “The OSFM staffing grant has turned what has been a long-term vision and goal for McKenzie Fire and Rescue into a reality,” Chief Darren Bucich said in a release. “Additional staffing will help us build on our ability to provide consistent alarm response, timely auto and mutual aid response, and the ability to continue to be a part of conflagrations.”
According to officials, this is the second-consecutive year that the grant has been offered to fire agencies.
KOIN-TV NBC 6 Portland
Around 4:30 p.m. Wednesday, crews from Glide Rural Fire Protection District and Douglas Forest Protective Association (DFPA) responded to an estimated 2–3-acre fire located in slash and timber, about 9 miles southeast of Glide in the Thunder Mountain area.
Fire suppression responders engaged in an initial attack with a tender, dozer, and several engines as additional resources were en route.
The spread of the fire was stopped thanks to the successful and aggressive initial attack of responding firefighters, DFPA said.
80% of the fire had been lined and plumbed Wednesday evening and was expected to be 100% no later than midnight.
KVAL-TV CBS 13 Eugene
After fighting the Thunder Mountain Fire until 1 a.m., key players of the Douglas Forest Protective Association still showed up early Thursday morning to prep headquarters, talk about DFPA history and fire prevention, and provide a guided tour through their shop and heavy equipment for students of Douglas High School.
"As first responders, we know things will change quickly and rallying to problem solve as a team is what we do best," DFPA said. "Very proud and thankful to everyone that came together to still make today's field trip happen!"
Teaching local youth about fire prevention is key to helping prevent human-caused fires, DFPA said.
"Unfortunately, 85% of fires throughout the state of Oregon are caused by humans every year and we believe that knowledge is power," DFPA said on social media. "Together, we can #keeporegongreen."
KVAL-TV CBS 13 Eugene
Nearly two months after suffering a major heart attack, one Hillsboro man has a second chance at life.
On Thursday, he got the chance to thank the first responders who saved his life.
“I’m just so grateful to all of you for helping me have this second stage in life,” said Sean Walkenhorst.
It was a heart-warming reunion as Walkenhorst met the first responders who saved his life for the first time since his heart attack. “This came as a shock,” he said. “I never had any previous issues or problems.”
On April 5, Walkenhorst, 50, had come home from playing basketball when he went into cardiac arrest.
“And then I guess as my wife came up the stairs, I called out -- I was more told than remember -- but I said, ‘April, call 911.’ And then a few seconds later, I lost consciousness and fell off the bed.”
KATU-TV ABC 2 Portland