Oregon Department of Forestry celebrates 100 years of aviation and a calm fire season

Air Tanker (Shelby Reilly/News 10).

The Oregon Department of Forestry celebrated 100 years of its' aviation unit at the Medford Airtanker Base.

They brought out multiple helicopters, an air tanker, emergency fire vehicles and more.

“It was a chance for the community to come out and be able to see and get up close to the aviation assets here,” Ryan Davol, a pilot for type three helicopter for ODF, said.

People in the community were able to come out and see what resources are available to them in case of an emergency.

“It’s a great learning opportunity. A lot of times, the questions we get from the public are about our aircraft. So this is a great chance for people to come out and get those questions answered and maybe hear a little bit about our pilots' experiences,” Natalie Weber, Public Information Officer for ODF, said.

Accompanying the 100-year celebration was a clear sky and a what seems to be a calm fire season.

“This year actually our helicopters have not yet been on a fire This year we’re definitely on a slow-ish start to the season so it’s kind of a great time to have this event,” Weber said.

Davol mentions that this time last year, that was a completely different story.

“This time last year we were extremely busy. We’ve been on now, I think this is going on day number nine, we haven’t been called out at all other than training missions so that’s more than good,” Davol said.

Because of the clear sky and calm fire season, Weber says this seemed like the perfect opportunity to celebrate 100 years.

“This year celebrating 100 years we thought what better time to open it up to the public and let people come and see the resources that we have in this area,” Weber said.

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