Firefighting task forces from Columbia, Clatsop, Marion and Yamhill pulled into the Enterprise Safeway parking lot this morning at 10 a.m. and grabbed some sandwiches and water.
Meanwhile, over at the Wallowa County Courthouse, Delegation of Authority papers were signed allowing Incident Commander Ted Kunze and his staff, leaders of the Oregon Fire Marshal’s “Green Team,” to begin planning their defense of Troy in the face of the Grizzly Bear Complex Fire.
The Green Team assumed command at 11 a.m.
Their first order of business was to get their supply line in place.
Crews from McMinnville, Carlton, Scappoose, Portland and other areas, some just released from other fires, had roared out to Enterprise as fast as they could to help fight the fire.
“We left at 2 a.m. and ran those old trucks as hard as they could go,” said firefighter Scott Bernards of the Carlton Oregon Fire District.
Members of the task forces had been advised to load up on the groceries and water while they were there at the Safeway Store because the response was so quick that the supply line was just now being set up.
Eric Smythe, task force leader trainee on the Columbia County Taskforce said his crew had enough food and water on board and “we’re topped off with fuel. We’re good for at least 24 hours.”
The task forces arrived with at mix of at least five Type 3 fire engines and brush rigs per team. A few water tenders are also in the group. The rigs hold from under 500 gallons of water (Type 6 brush rigs) to over 500 gallons of water (Type 3 engines).
They’re all part of the Green Team, a firefighting group scrambled by the Oregon State Fire Marshal in response to the Governor’s invocation of the Emergency Conflagration Act with regard to the Grizzly Bear Complex.
“Green Team are structure protection specialists,” said Public Information Officer Justin de Ruyter, whose day job is with Portland Fire & Rescue.
The teams are too late to save some structures. Joani Bosworth, public affairs officer for the Umatilla National Forest reports that the fire has devoured three primary residences and 12 outbuildings confirmed. The assessment of damages continues.
The fire has grown from 12,000 acres to 48,000 acres in the last 24 hours with critical weather conditions expected today. “Additional growth is expected,” Bosworth said.
The fire is still zero percent contained.