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GRAYBACK READIES LA GRANDE CREWS
The La Grande office of Grayback Forestry, stunned by a fatal motor vehicle accident more than two weeks ago, is ready again to respond to forest fires.
According to a company statement this morning, two engines and one 20-person crew are ready to be dispatched if called to a wildland fire.
The La Grande employees have not been reassigned to work since the accident June 21 in Colorado killed five firefighters and injured six. The accident occurred as a caravan of vans carrying about 59 employees was en route to the Hayman Fire south of Denver.
Leslie Habetler, a spokeswoman for Grayback, said that the crews have been attending safety classes and driver training during the interim. Crews are expected to begin doing non-fire project work, such as thinning, today.
Grayback staffs crews from Merlin, Medford and John Day. Those bases have been assigning crews to regional fires. Two engines have been dispatched to fires in California.
Grayback usually staffs three La Grande and three John Day
See GRAYBACK, Page 2A