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Gov. Walz authorizes Minnesota support for Oregon fire response

Gov. Walz authorizes Minnesota support for Oregon fire response

Updated: September 14, 2020 03:23 PM

29 Minnesota firefighters and nine fire trucks will travel to Salem, Oregon on Tuesday morning to help protect structures threatened by wildfires across the state. The announcement came from Governor Tim Walz Monday.

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It follows a request from Oregon officials through the Emergency Management Assistance Compact (EMAC).

“Wildfires continue to put our fellow Americans’ lives at risk while devastating homes, businesses, and communities,” Governor Walz said. “The Minnesota fire service is known for stepping up in critical situations, putting their lives on the line to save others. I am proud of the way they’ve answered this call to serve."

According to the Governor's office, Minnesota will send two task forces comprised of firefighters and trucks from Brainerd, Fisher, Bemidji, Eden Prairie, Motley, Cross Lake, and Spring Lake Park/Blaine/Mounds View fire departments.

The teams will leave from Fergus Falls at 9 a.m. Tuesday after equipment inspections and a mission briefing.

"The firefighters on these teams are trained to protect lives and property during dangerous, stressful and volatile situations,” State Fire Marshal Jim Smith said.

EMAC is a mutual aid agreement between all 50 states. Through the program, a state can ask for assistance based on their needs and other states can respond.

According to the Governor's office, the Minnesota Department of Public Safety Homeland Security and Emergency Management division coordinates the state’s EMAC requests.

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