Ohio wildfire crews lend a hand in California, Colorado


Flames lick above vehicles on Highway 162 as the Bear Fire burns in Oroville, Calif., on Wednesday. The blaze, part of the lightning-sparked North Complex, expanded at a critical rate of spread as winds buffeted the region. (AP Photo/Noah Berger)

COLUMBUS, Ohio (WDTN) — The Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR) sent members of its Division of Forestry to help fire fighters at the North Complex Fire in California and the Williams Fork Fire in Colorado.

ODNR dispatched three forestry wildland firefighters and one division fire engine to each state.

“Ohio is well prepared with trained and experienced crews, support staff and resources for wildfire situations,” said Dan Balser, chief of the Ohio Division of Forestry. “This year we have adjusted our protocols and procedures due to the COVID-19 situation, but we have still been able to assist other states in need. Interagency cooperation is important for safe and efficient emergency management and wildfire suppression.”

Ohio’s wildfire crews have been sent to assignments in California, Wyoming, Oregon, Arizona, Pennsylvania and Colorado, all just in 2020.

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