Canby Fire District Personnel, Columbia Helicopters Assisting in Fighting California Wildfires

Update: The Canby Fire crew was demobilized Thursday, along with the rest of the strike team from Clackamas County and another strike team from Linn. They arrived home safely Friday morning.

Original story follows.

Canby Fire District Division Chief Matt English, along with firefighter Brad Frank, Austin Holmes and Bo Ramos, continue to assist in the wildfires devastating much of northern California.

They are assigned to one of several Oregon strike teams assisting Cal Fire in battling the Ranch Fire in Tehama County, which has now consumed over 2,000 acres and is only 15 percent contained.

Originally assigned to the Kincade Fire in Sonoma County, the Canby firefighters had actually been demobilized and were packing up to go home as of Sunday morning. But by Monday morning, they had been reassigned and were back at it, actively fighting the Ranch Fire which, at the time, only covered about 300 acres.

Please keep them in your thoughts and prayers, if you’re the praying type.

Aurora-based Columbia Helicopters is also doing their part, with helicopter crews already assigned to U.S. Forest Service and Cal Fire, and ready to fly on a moment’s notice.

“Right now, three of our helicopters are prepositioned, and ready to go,” said Keith Saylor, director of commercial operations for Columbia. “We are continuing to be available for the various fire protection agencies, ready to assist with any further needs on any existing fires, or in an initial attack role for any new fire starts.”

Before this month, the company’s flying had actually been down by about a third compared to the 2018 fire season. However, given the current activity, he said that gap is likely to close.

Photo courtesy the Oregon State Fire Marshal on Twitter.

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