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Ohio Department of Natural Resources Sending Firefighters Out of State to Fight Wildfires


COLUMBUS, Ohio — The Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR) Division of Forestry is helping battle wildfires in the west by sending firefighting crews and equipment across the country. Wildland fire engines staffed with Ohio firefighters are currently fighting flames in Texas and California, and a 19-person crew has been mobilized to California.
“Ohio firefighters are trained year-round in preparation for wildfires within the state and for emergency situations throughout the country,” said Greg Guess, wildfire supervisor for the Ohio Division of Forestry. “By assisting other agencies, we are able to lend our help and learn new techniques to bring back to Ohio.”
Throughout the spring and summer of 2022, the Ohio Division of Forestry has provided fire engines, firefighters, and emergency support staff to locations across the country that have faced wildland fires and elevated fire danger. States that the Ohio Division of Forestry has assisted this year include Tennessee, Virginia, West Virginia, Colorado, New Mexico, Arizona, Alaska, California, and Texas.
Ohio’s wildland fire crews are composed of firefighters from the Division of Forestry, local fire departments, national parks and forests, and other cooperating state agencies. Crews and support staff are normally assigned for two weeks work assignments but could be extended to 21-days depending on the situation. The Division of Forestry plans to support national wildfire suppression efforts as much as they can throughout the summer by providing more engines, crews, and qualified individuals when they are needed.
Here in Ohio, the Division of Forestry trains federal, state, and local agencies in safe and effective wildland fire suppression, manages prescribed fires for forest regeneration, and provides wildfire suppression assistance to local fire departments as part of the overarching goal of keeping communities and residents safe. Since Ohio’s fire risk season occurs in the spring and late autumn months, the Division of Forestry can help other states this time of year without compromising fire protection needs in our home state.
Ohio crews and individual management personnel have assisted with hurricanes, floods, and wildfire incidents since 1986.