The Medford Airtanker Base is a key element of a collaborative wildfire protection strategy developed in partnership with local, state and federal agencies. The Base further enhances local firefighting capability for a five county area that includes Jackson, Josephine, Coos, Curry and Douglas Counties.

Medford Airtanker Base

The Base provides strong interagency support for wildland fire suppression efforts in southwest Oregon and northern California. Partners include the U.S. Forest Service, Bureau of Land Management (BLM), Oregon Department of Forestry, and the five counties.

  • The counties have provided a share of operating funds for the Base through the Secure Rural Schools and Communities Self Determination Act. It has been uniquely funded with Title II and Title III dollars from the Act that were approved by the five counties through three Resource Advisory Committees.
  • Oregon Department of Forestry has provided staffing with trained seasonal employees.
  • The U.S. Forest Service provides administration and program oversight.

Airtanker Base Program:

  • The use of aircraft to drop fire retardant to suppress wildfires is an important wildland firefighting tool. Ongoing activities include maintaining an ability to load and deploy airtankers to support firefighting capabilities for the five counties in Oregon.
  • Medford Airtanker Base personnel manage both Oregon and California State and Federal airtankers. The Base operations support fire suppression activities for federally managed and Oregon Department of Forestry protected lands. It also provides support to Cal Fire protected lands for Department of Forestry and Fire Protection in northern California.
  • Medford Airtanker Base
  • As a mobilization center, it supports multiple crews sent to assignments via charter aircraft.

Contact: Virginia Gibbons, Rogue River-Siskiyou National Forest, Public Affairs Officer, 541-618-2113