The Wildland Suppression Crew from the Oregon Department of Correction’s (DOC) South Fork Forest Camp (SFFC) deployed to Ball Bearing Fire, roughly 12 miles east of Carlton, Oregon.
This was only day one of a three-day process. Adults in custody (AICs) and the Oregon Department of Forestry (ODF) staff took hand tools and water hoses to the side of this mountain. The Wildland Fire Fighters pushed their way through acres of land, cutting and digging deep under stumps, roots, and rocks.
Since 1951, ODF has utilized Oregon Department of Corrections adults in custody to help reforest and protect state forest lands. ODF trains and supervises AIC crews to perform a variety of key forest management and protection projects. It is the largest and oldest work camp in the Pacific Northwest. Work crews perform forest management in eleven counties in northwest Oregon, assist with disaster relief efforts, and engage in fire suppression statewide. In a given year, South Fork Camp can produce up to 28,000-man days of skilled adults in custody labor saving the state millions in labor costs.
This interagency partnership allows adults in custody to gain valuable work skills while providing economic, social, and environmental benefits for Oregonians.