Louisiana Department of Agriculture and Forestry (LDAF) wildland firefighters are in Oregon to assist with ongoing wildfires.
A 10-person hand crew, comprised of six personnel from the LDAF and four from the U.S. Forest Service, is supporting engine operations during a 21-day assignment in Medford, Oregon. Using rakes and shovels, hand crews create fire breaks by clearing away flammable debris like dry leaves and digging down to bare soil. Hand crews are used in areas where heavy equipment is unable to access.
“Louisiana is currently experiencing historically low wildfire incidents due to the abundant rainfall this year. This allows us to assist other states that are battling large wildfire incidents and in need of additional resources and boots on the ground,” Strain said. “LDAF personnel are chosen from various districts around the state to maintain proper fire protection coverage at home while they assist others in need.”
Cooperative agreements between federal, state and local organizations allow for the exchange of firefighting resources among participating agencies.