COLUMBUS, OH - Ohios third crew of the 2002 wildfire season is scheduled to return home late Wednesday, after initially fighting fires on the Boise National Forest in Idaho, and then fires on the Fremont National Forest in south central Oregon, according to the Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR).
The 20-person crew is made up of 10 employees from the ODNR Division of Forestry, three from the Wayne National Forest, three from the National Park Service as well as four community firefighters. Their work assignments included laying hose lines, patrolling fire lines and extinguishing hot spots.
The Garden Valley complex fires on the Boise National Forest in Idaho consumed more than 1,100 acres since it started July 22 from a series of lightening strikes. Local authorities say the fire is now 85 percent contained and they expect full containment this week.
The crew also assisted in the suppression efforts of the Toolbox complex of fires on the Fremont National Forest in Oregon. This series of fires, which started on July 12 from a lightening strike, consumed more than 120,000 acres and is now completely contained.
More than 3.8 million acres of forest and brush land have burned in the United States so far this year. Typically the worst of the fire season occurs in August, so the U.S. Forest Service and cooperating states are bracing for more blazes.
ODNRs Division of Forestry participates in a national cooperative effort with the federal government and the National Association of State Foresters in providing mutual assistance to combat the nations wildfires. Ohio wildfire fighters also gain hands-on experience to use in suppressing the 900 to 1,000 fires Ohio experiences each spring and fall.
For Further Information Contact:
Andy Ware, ODNR Media Relations
Kim Dobbins, ODNR Division of Forestry