Oregon forestry officials warn of drained wildfire fighting resources, challenging weather

By Hillary Borrud | The Oregonian/OregonLive

Oregon has limited resources to tap in the all-out battle to contain wildfires around the state, because national and regional teams are all tied up on various fires at this point, forestry officials told a state board Wednesday morning.

Travis Medema, regional forestry manager for Eastern Oregon, told the Board of Forestry during a virtual meeting that the Pacific Northwest and the entire nation are both at preparedness level five, “which means there are literally no resources available” that can be deployed to new or growing fires.

“It has been … absolutely unprecedented in my career and I think all of our careers,” Medema said of the fast-growing wildfires stoked in the last 48 hours by strong east winds and extremely dry weather. Medema said thousands of homes have been destroyed in the fires.