Jackson County, OR (KPTV) — A crew of more than a dozen wildland firefighters from Puerto Rico is joining the efforts to contain one of several massive fires in southern Oregon.
They’ve joined other crews working long shifts to battle the Miles Fire, which has burned more than 32,000 acres of land in Umpqua National Forest. They said it’s quite different from what they’re used to.
“It’s a big difference in topography, fuels. Puerto Rico usually what we get is flash fuels…here where they last maybe even months,” a crew member said.
Though the fires may be different, the danger and threat to life are the same and these firefighters have experienced their fair share of loss. A little less than a year ago, Hurricane Maria devastated Puerto Rico. It was one of the worst natural disasters in the island’s history wiping out a huge portion of its power grid.
And while there is still work to be done back home, they’re taking a break, to help Oregon. There’s no doubt their sacrifice is much appreciated.