PRINEVILLE, OR -- The city of Prineville is trying to take a proactive approach to the upcoming wildfire season. State wildfire experts are predicting an active summer, given the region’s warm and dry winter and spring. Governor Kate Brown has already declared a drought emergency in Crook County.
Kelly Coffelt, Prineville Airport Manager, is working with the Department of Forestry to house two new Single Engine Air Tankers – also known as “SEATs” - in Prineville. "They look a lot like an agricultural aircraft. They can dump up to 800 gallons of retardant on a drop, so they’ll be able to go in and attack the smaller fires and get them put out."
Coffelt said in the City of Prineville Podcast they should help prevent those smaller fires from becoming major events. "I look at it as a huge asset for the community to have those type of resources close and be able to support the community."