September 25, 2006 - Refuge firefighters return from assignments
With nearly 9 million acres of wildland consumed nationwide since the start of the calendar year, firefighters have been busy battling blazes and managing fires throughout the country. Klamath Basin's Division of Fire Management has sent engine crews and its employees on a multitude of assignments to assist in controlling these fires. Since May, resources have traveled to Arizona, Texas, New Mexico, Oregon, California and Idaho to help.
The refuge fire engine was first dispatched to the South Texas Refuge Complex in May for one month of initial attack fire support, next to the Warm Fire in Arizona and then dispatched to the Lassen National Forest in northern California to support their lightning fire suppression activities. Individual fire personnel have traveled to the Skates Fire in New Mexico, Bybee Complex in Oregon, Bar Complex and Ralston Fire in California and South Fork Complex in Idaho. Personnel served as division supervisors, helicopter managers, helicopter crewmembers, public information officers and other overhead positions.
In addition to nationwide travel, crews have continued responding to dozens of local fires on or near the wildlife refuges of the Klamath Basin. Hundreds of lightning ignited fires locally this summer, coupled with shortages of available responding resources, have kept crews busy.
As fall approaches and the typical "fire season" winds down, crews are preparing to transition from fire suppression to prescribed fire. Regardless, crews remain prepared and ready to respond to any new starts and safely suppress any unwanted wildfires.