COLUMBUS, OH – A 20-person Ohio wildfire crew from the Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR) left Saturday morning to travel to the Lolo National Forest in Montana, where they will assist with fighting the Burdette Fire. Additionally, a wildfire crew consisting of three people and one wildfire engine departed Saturday to travel to Miles City, Montana, where they will be dispatched to help fight wildfires in the region.
This is the second 20-person hand crew and the second wildfire engine crew with three people and one wildfire engine assigned to head out West to help fight wildfires.
“As activity increases in other regions of the country, we are often called upon to share our experienced wildfire-fighting personnel,” said Robert Boyles, Ohio’s state forester. “We always value the time spent on these large fires, and we are able to apply the knowledge we gain out-of-state to wildfires and other incidents we face in Ohio.”
The Ohio crew and engine are among the many eastern wildland firefighters recently sent to Montana to assist with managing newly started fires in the northern Rocky Mountains. The first Ohio wildfire crew sent out West returned from their assignment after fighting wildfires in Albuquerque, New Mexico. Additionally, a wildfire crew consisting of three people and one wildfire engine also returned after traveling to Phoenix, Arizona.
The ODNR Division of Forestry trains ODNR, federal and private natural resource agencies, as well as fire department personnel from across the state, for inter-agency wildland fire detail and emergencies to protect life and property in Ohio; manage natural resources using prescribed fire; and to provide assistance to other states as part of the national effort.
Ohio crews and individual management personnel have assisted with hurricanes, floods and wildfire incidents since 1986. Crews and overhead staff are normally dispatched out-of-state for two-week assignments. Travel and wage costs are reimbursed by requesting agencies.
The ODNR Division of Forestry also coordinates agreements and wildfire training, prevention, suppression and enforcement with 322 fire departments in the southern and eastern part of the state and around Maumee State Forest in the state’s northwest corner.
The ODNR Division of Forestry works to promote the wise use and sustainable management of Ohio’s public and private woodlands. To learn more about Ohio’s woodlands and the fire management program, visit forestry.ohiodnr.gov. ODNR ensures a balance between wise use and protection of our natural resources for the benefit of all. Visit the ODNR website at ohiodnr.gov.