Local firefighters respond to national wildfires

John Stegeman Sports Editor

August 10, 2012


PDT Staff Writer

The Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR) Division of Forestry has answered the call to send firefighters west, to help battle wildfires. Ohio’s Inter-Agency Fire Crew has been sent to help with a fire in the Salmon-Challis National Forest, 28 miles west of North Fork, Idaho, near Montana.

The crew is comprised of 20 people from Wayne National Forest (located paritally in Scioto County), ODNR Division of Forestry, Cuyahoga Valley National Park, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and community fire departments. The Ohio firefighters are trained and annually re-qualified by ODNR Division of Forestry. Crews that have also been sent to Salmon-Challis National Park to help, including crews from the Monongahela National Forest in West Virginia.

According to ODNR Division of Forestry, earlier this summer, a similar Ohio Inter-Agency Fire Crew was on a wildfire in California. A three-person crew and wild-land fire engine was assigned to Missouri, logistical help was sent to Utah and a dispatcher provided assistance for Montana wildfires. Currently, Ohio has a specialist in Montana serving as a planning section chief on an incident command team.

“Our teams gain valuable experience for wildfire suppression work at home while providing help during difficult periods of high fire occurrence in other parts of the nation,” said Robert Boyles, chief of the ODNR Division of Forestry in a released statement.

According to released information by ODNR Division of Forestry, Ohio crews and individual management personnel have assisted with wildfires, hurricanes and flood incidents since 1986.

For more information about ODNR Division of Forestry visit www.ohiodnr.com/forestry.

Wayne Allen may be reached at 740-353-3101, ext. 208, or wallen@heartlandpublications.com.