‘Razorback Crew’ of firefighters leave Arkansas to work wildfires in Oregon

Around Arkansas

FORT SMITH, Ark.- A crew of 20 firefighters, including five Arkansas Department of Agriculture’s Forestry Division employees, left Fort Smith Wednesday to work wildfires in Oregon.

Wildfires in California, Oregon and Washington have burned over 2 million acres this year, causing hundreds of thousands of people to evacuate their homes.

According to a news release sent Wednesday from the Arkansas Department of Agriculture, the “Razorback Crew” is composed of eight employees from the US Forest Service, two from the US Fish and Wildlife Service, two from the National Parks Service, three from the Bureau of Indian Affairs and five Arkansas Department of Agriculture’s Forestry Division. The crew chief is Les Miller, a Forestry Division Ranger from Conway County.

According to the Arkansas Department of Agriculture, the team of firefighters will be working as an initial attack crew that will be sent to prevent new starts to wildfires.

According to the news release, the non-federal crew members are being contracted by the US Forest Service to work in Oregon. The US Forest Service will be directing the crew to areas of Oregon that are in most need of their service, according to officials with the Arkansas Department of Agriculture.

“We are proud of the Razorback Crew members who volunteered to do hard, labor-intensive work to help safeguard the people of Oregon,” said Arkansas State Forester Joe Fox. “Our employees are honored to use their training and expertise to provide assistance.”

Officials say two other Arkansas Department of Agriculture Forestry Division employees that worked on fires in California recently have returned.

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