Firefighters from Portland-area agencies assist in wildfire figh - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi

Firefighters from Portland-area agencies assist in wildfire fighting efforts

ALOHA, OR (KPTV) -

Firefighters from many Portland-area agencies are deploying to wildfires burning around Oregon.

Thirteen people from Tualatin Valley Fire and Rescue are currently deployed to three of Oregon’s biggest wildfires burning near Warm Springs, John Day and Baker City. Several others are prepared to leave at a moment’s notice.

As a member of the deployment team, TVF and R Battalion Chief Scott Steiner brings extra gear with him to work during wildfire season in case he is called to deploy, including special personal protective gear, a fire shelter, tools, a tent and sleeping bag.

Steiner said crews typically focus on protecting buildings and homes from fires and clearing brush away from structures to create defensible space.

“That’s our niche,” he said. “That frees up wildland firefighters. Their job is to go out and do more of the one-on-one, head-to-head fighting of the wildland fires.”

In addition to deploying firefighters, TVF and R can deploy apparatuses like brush rigs and people to help with command and planning functions and to share information with the public and the media.

“We do this job because we love to serve. It’s our passion. We love helping people,” Steiner said. “And being able to go somewhere and do something in a different way is extremely rewarding.”

TVF and R is one of several agencies in Washington County deploying members to wildfire fighting efforts.

Copyright 2015 KPTV-KPDX Broadcasting Corporation.  All rights reserved.

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