Water from firefighters flooded main ODF office basement; cause under investigation
KLAMATH FALLS, Ore. (KTVZ) – The fire cache (supplies) building at the Oregon Department of Forestry’s Klamath-Lake District compound in Klamath Falls was destroyed by a fire early Thursday morning.
The fire was reported around 3:47 a.m. Fire engine crews from Klamath County Fire District 4 were dispatched and arrived on scene by 4 a.m. Firefighting resources from Kingsley Fire, Keno Fire Department and Klamath County Fire District 1 assisted with the fire. Local law enforcement assisted with the incident as well.
The Oregon State Fire Marshal’s office is currently investigating the cause of the fire.
“We are grateful to the firefighters and leadership from Klamath County Fire District 4 for their rapid response to the fire on our compound, as well as the support from Kingsley Fire, the Keno Fire Department and Klamath County Fire District 1 in fighting the fire,” said Randall Baley, Protection Unit Forester for ODF Klamath-Lake District. “Their work prevented the fire from spreading to other structures, including the main office.”
The main ODF office basement is flooded as a result of firefighting efforts on the fire cache building. ODF officials are still assessing, but there does not appear to be any other damages to the main office.
The fire cache contained firefighting equipment, including hose, gloves, tools, clothing, and other items that support wildland firefighting, as well as fire prevention and community outreach items.
Despite the loss, ODF said in a news release its resources will still be prepared to respond, thanks to strong local fire management relationships.
ODF is among the five agencies of the South Central Oregon Fire Management Partnership (SCOFMP). The other agencies are stepping in to provide resources and support for ODF.
“We are prepared to support our partners at ODF with whatever supplies they need to continue to operate this fire season,” said Interagency Fire Management Officer Jeb Koons. “It’s a huge hit for any firefighting organization to lose their cache, even more so in the midst of fire season, and we are here to help with whatever they need to get through as they assess and rebuild.”
ODF said its firefighting crews are remaining resilient despite the loss of the fire cache building and its contents. They were back out on patrol and fire-ready Thursday morning and are prepared to respond to any new starts.
“Our firefighters have done a great job putting this in perspective and continuing to work on wildfire response and patrol, serving our local communities even with this loss,” Baley said.