Updated September 10 – The IAFF Disaster Relief Team continues to monitor the Almeda Drive, South Obenchain, Riverside, Santiam, Chehalem Mountain, Holiday Farm and Echo Mountain fires burning along Oregon’s I-5 corridor. The International and the Oregon State Fire Fighters Council are in the process of reaching out to the more than 500 members who live in path of these fires to determine membership service needs.
All available IAFF members in Oregon are on the fire lines of these fires. Many have been working non-stop with no available relief.
California has sent four strike teams which are currently working the Almeda Drive fire where a devastating number of citizen casualties are feared as hundreds did not heed evacuation orders. Twenty more fire fighter teams are on the way to Oregon to help contain these fires.
Updated September 9 -Hundreds of IAFF members are battling an unprecedented amount of fire and wildfire activity across the state of Oregon. Many have been on the fire line without relief for 96 hours or more. Oregon Governor Kate Brown has officially requested federal resources to help contain these fires, which have already burned more than 5,000 square miles and destroyed hundreds of homes. State officials fear that the number of fatalities will likely increase as residents did not heed evacuation orders.
“We have seen some pretty rough fire seasons, but this one may be the worst,” says General President Harold Schaitberger. “All of our available resources will be put towards providing disaster relief assistance to our members in need.”
“Our members are doing an incredible job, working to gain control of a nearly impossible situation,” says 9th District Vice President Ray Rahne. “Our job now is to assist them in any way we can. We will be there for as long as they need us.”
The Santiam Fire (Beachie Creek and Lionshead merged), Holiday Farm, Riverside, Almeda Drive, Echo Mountain Complex, Chehlem Mountain and South Obenchain fires are burning across the state, threatening businesses and homes, including the homes of at least 141 members.
District Vice President Rahne, Oregon State Fire Fighters Council (OSFFC) President Karl Koenig and IAFF Disaster Relief Go-Team members are currently assessing membership needs. In addition, IAFF peer support services are on standby for any members or family members who need it.
In the 7th District, the IAFF is monitoring six wildfires in Washington state and one in Montana where members are potentially at risk, while also watching the El Dorado, Valley, Creek Bobcat, Willow and Oak fires in the 10th District in California.
Members whose homes are damaged should contact their District Vice President or local president for disaster relief assistance.
We will continue to provide updates in the coming days. To donate to the IAFF Disaster Relief Fund, go to my.iaff.org/disaster.