CORONAVIRUS, Oregon, wildfire

Wildland firefighters now eligible for vaccine

Banks Fire District Engine 16 heads toward the Powerline Fire. Photo: Chas Hundley

Oregon’s wildland firefighters became eligible for the COVID-19 vaccine on Monday, March 29 in Washington County, and that includes many private crews that work in the logging industry in the region’s forests, and landowners in forested areas that aid firefighting efforts. 

“Landowners and operators that participate in fire protection are a critical part of Oregon’s complete and coordinated system and qualify as wildland firefighters,” Mike Cafferata, the Forest Grove District Forester for the Oregon Department of Forestry said in an email. 

In a phone call with this newspaper, Cafferata noted that during wildfires, such as the September 2020 wildfires, fire crews often operate in fire camps where social distancing can be difficult. 

“If we have a camp of . . .

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