COOS COUNTY – Coos County commissioners approved an agreement Tuesday morning between itself and the Oregon Office of Emergency Management to be able to send volunteers to California’s Camp Fire recovery site.
According to Capt. Gabriel Fabrizio, two Coos County Search and Rescue team members and a K-9 tracking and cadaver dog were deployed Sunday to Paradise, Calif. to assist in their search for hundreds of missing residents.
“Once we got the call, we sent out a request for volunteers to see who would be able to go,” Fabrizio said. “As more people become available we will try to send them over to offer as much help as we can.”
The call was sent out earlier this week through a federal request, the Emergency Management Assistance Compact (EMAC), which allows for states to share resources and personnel with one another during a major emergency or disaster.
While waiting for commissioners to sign the EMAC agreement, the two Coos County team members were able to join the Douglas County Sheriff’s Office Search and Rescue team Sunday through an another agreement, the California Oregon Regional Search and Rescue Task Force (COSAR).
COSAR allows for counties, who have joined, the opportunity to send trained search and rescue personnel and search management assistance to one another. The two members, Jeanette Sinclair and Dave Haueter along with K-9 Auggie, are set to return Wednesday.
The Douglas County team also left Sunday with 11 volunteers, a deputy and four vehicles, which included three K-9 recovery teams as well as ground search and management personnel.
The Camp Fire has destroyed over 12,000 single family homes, burned over 150,000 acres and caused 79 fatalities to date. The Butte County Sheriff’s Office released a partial list Monday of missing or unaccounted for people, which contains 699 names.
Coos County now joins other search and rescue teams from Douglas, Lake, Jackson, Klamath and Josephine counties.